Palsy I Am Not
by Terrell Scott

"I have a disability, but I haven’t lived the life as a person with a disability."

Debut author Scott sincerely wishes to reach out to fellow disabled persons, to give them the hope and fortitude he has received through Christian scripture and conviction. Born with cerebral palsy to a drug-using mother, Scott was adopted as an infant and grew up with a mother who cared about him and his siblings. Her husband was strict, but Scott believes he kept him "off the streets" by punishing him for moral infractions. As a child, the author was not fully aware of his physical condition but gradually understood that he was different from others and would need to try harder to prove himself. Placed in special education where he felt teachers often denigrated their students, he conceived a determination to get a high school diploma, not just a certificate. He pursued adult education after high school and attained his diploma along with job skills.

Scott is currently an active churchgoer who has rejected the idea that he or any disabled person "is" the disability. He urges others to embrace a belief in their capabilities and ask for God's help in making the best of their lives. He writes, he says, through emotion, which is evident in this short but passionately presented testimony. He has bravely faced barriers that include not only CP but also the bias toward his African American heritage, a struggle with gay feelings, and AIDS. He aptly quotes from sources that include self-help writers as well as from the Bible. He recommends periods of fasting to make a sacrifice for faith and suggests that sometimes it is better for people who are suffering from society's prejudices to stay alone and avoid getting hurt. Such advice that is based on real and, at times, painful experience may well provide positive outreach to those whom Scott seeks to assist.

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