Hi, my name is Tylia Flores, I’m 23 years old with Spastic Cerebral Palsy that mostly affects my left side of my body. When I was born I only weighed 2 lbs. 3 oz. I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of two, and shortly after being diagnosed I started going to preschool at United Cerebral Palsy in New York, where my journey with CP really began. My mother and I truly received great support throughout the whole entire school, and that is also where I met my friend Daniel but by the time I was five United Cerebral Palsy thought it would be best for me to go to a regular public school.
That’s when I truly discovered I was unique from everybody else, but I couldn’t understand why being the only student in a wheelchair in my class it made me feel out of place since I used to be the same as everyone else in a group of kids just like me. But it taught me a lot about society and the way society is. I think that was the first time I truly escaped out of the bubble; Daniel attended the same elementary school as me a year before I relocated to Florida.
Throughout that time, I faced many obstacles including experiences with bullying from being different from the rest of the kids in my elementary schools that I attended over the years because I moved around a lot. I remember this one time in the fourth grade where I had just gotten AFO’s and I was so excited to wear them to school but once I got to school the reality came out that the AFO’s were going to be something that the kids would pick on me about and I would come from school crying about it to the point that I stopped wearing them for years.
Now, on to middle school where I began as the nerdy girl in the wheelchair, I was mostly into reading books and my studies with buck teeth until I got braces for my teeth at less and on top of that I wind up getting glasses although I was not getting bullied as much in fact I had the best years of my life I was even able to go on the end-of-year trip to Island Adventures with my teachers and friends it was also the year that Daniel and I reconnected through myspace. My 8th-grade year along with having a 3.8 GPA were great and I was ready to head on to my next adventure high school.
High school was rough, as I faced a lot of stereotyping and a lot of bullying from my teachers and the teachers, during which time my grades went down; my G.P.A was a 2.5, the lowest it has gone so I felt like I had nowhere to go and on top of that Daniel had passed away that same year so it was a lot to handle but overall I’m happy to say that I’ve overcome those obstacles and challenges I have to face now as a twenty-three-year-old woman who has published a book and begun spreading awareness about her disability I have to say I’m proud of how far came life as I continue to stomp on Cerebral Palsy.
Click here to check out tylia’s Facebook page: Stomping out CP