Meredith Leonard: Born December 28, 1975
I think the most important thing to stress is that, as with any person who is "different," all these people want is to have the chance to be like everybody else. Sounds simple, but not so easy. You start off looking different literally from head to toe. Even after multiple surgeries you still look different. These people tend to be very private and not very outgoing when around strangers or in strange surroundings. However, once comfortable they have a very good sense of humor and are well-adjusted.
The advice I was given when my daughter was ten days old, by a doctor who was to do several surgeries on her head, was that if you treat a child as handicapped, that's what they will become. So, hard as it was, we treated her as we would any "normal" child, much to the distress of some people that thought she should be coddled. The advice from the doctor was solid. My daughter has graduated from Shawsheen Valley Tech (Graphic Arts), drives her own car, is self-supporting, and rides horses (her first love). She also does many hours of volunteering at the barn helping with the care and feeding of the horses as well as with special needs students. She is an inspiration to everyone who knows her because she puts 100% into everything she does, even though it may be difficult for her.
807 East Street
Tewksbury, MA 01876