Like many people I’ve always enjoyed reading books since reading allows you to be creative and imaginative all the same time with the gift of knowledge and life lessons which sometimes come in the least expected way, you could have never thought of.
That’s what happened to me in the 5th grade when I was asked by my school’s principal to read Howie Helps himself to my 5th-grade student body.
At first, I hated the idea of reading a book about Cerebral Palsy mainly because I wasn’t proud of the person that I was at the time since I had to wear AFOS with big giant white New Balance wide sneakers and had buck teeth that I would get made fun of often because of my condition but also the fact that I had buck teeth and AFO’S which causes me to have the lowest self-esteem towards the end of elementary school and I just wanted to be seen as the typical tween who enjoyed watching Disney Channel playing her Nintendo DS and listening to POP music.
And although I had a small group of friends I still felt like the outcast in my mainstream classes so when my principal first asked me I was totally hesitant about going in front of my student body and reading a book about a young boy named Howie growing up in the ’70s with Cerebral palsy and how he able to achieve his goals although he has Cerebral Palsy I agreed to do it
I remember seeing the cover of Howie Helps himself and I had fallen in love with him as I saw a boy with a cowboy hat and a wheelchair and once I read the first sentence of Howie helps himself, Howie is a boy with brown eyes and brown hair like chocolate ice cream.
I automatically related to Howie as the story continues to describe Howie’s constant struggle to want to make everyone around him in society proud, especially his student body and his dad as he struggles to adapt to society but he also has many people along the way and helps Howie adapt to the world around him which made me feel like I was no longer the outcast of the society that I thought wasn’t made for me and my wheels.
After reading Howie Helps Himself to my student body class allowed me to fully accept Cerebral palsy and the way that I am as a young tween that was growing up.
I’m forever grateful for the experience that my school principal gave me to educate my student body on Cerebral palsy and what it’s like to have it and live with it.
Without the experience of reading Howie helps himself I probably wouldn’t have been able fully to expect my cerebral palsy and be proud of telling my story to the best of my ability not feeling ashamed of it.