Like many people, I’ve enjoyed reading for as long as I can remember. Reading has always been a passion of mine and it was part of the reason why I decided at a young age to write a book. Throughout my years of being a bookworm, I have read many books that have inspired me to write more about my life experiences with Cerebral palsy; such as Mice of Men by John Steinbeck and Forrest Grump by Winston Groom.
These books have helped me cope with my Cerebral palsy throughout the most difficult times of my life. As an advocate and author, I strongly feel that we need more authors to write about people with different types of disabilities such as Cerebral palsy, Autism, Muscular dystrophy, and more. I truly think that if more authors start writing about disabilities and inclusion then it would help society have a better understanding of what life is like for someone with a disability.
How books that talk about disabilities have helped me:
More books like this will allow children with disabilities to have someone to look up to, even if it’s just a fictional character. For example, when I was in the 5th grade I was asked to read Howie Helps Himself in front of the whole student body to discuss the topic of students with disabilities. At the time, I was a little girl with buck teeth using a quickie wheelchair.
I stood out in mainstream classes like a sore thumb, and I wanted to fit in society as an 11-year old who loved Disney Channel, my Nintendo DS, and pop music, rather than for what people saw on the outside. After reading Howie Helps Himself to the student body I learned to be proud of the young little girl that I was at the time. I also learned to love myself despite the fact I had this health condition, Cerebral palsy, that I would have to live with forever.
How having more published books about disabilities will benefit society:
We need more awareness about disabilities in literature so that young children, teenagers, and even adults with disabilities don’t feel isolated from society. Having more discussion and literature that brings up the topic of self-identifying and acceptance when it comes to people with disabilities as well as the different types of disabilities that exist, could help reduce bullying in schools. This is because students would be more aware of people with disabilities and have a better understanding that would help them adapt to communicating with people in society that have disabilities.
That is why I chose this career path of being an author and an advocate, so that I could help people with disabilities through my literature and advocacy work. I continue to work on my writing and my advocacy so that people with disabilities don’t have to feel the loneliness that I felt earlier in my life.
Tylia Flores is a 24-year-old born with cerebral palsy. Although her condition has affected her mobility, it has never affected her will and determination to make a difference in the world. Through her many life challenges and obstacles, she discovered her passion for writing. Tylia’s goal in life is to share her stories with the world.