As a person with a disability I see first-hand how stereotypes are able block people from seeing the individualities of those people whom they confine to a stereotype. Throughout my I’ve been confined by others to many stereotypes throughout my life, which include: because of my disability I must be have a mental disability also, because I am disabled I am fragile, easily tire out, or can easily get hurt, and that because I have a disability I expect to be given special treatment, that I always need some kind of help from others.
My very first encounter with stereotypes was in third grade, my class was lining up to leave the lunch room; and then this guy decides to jump in front of me so he could be with his friends. We started to get into a slight argument when he uttered the words, “Shut up, that’s why you belong at Murdoch”. I immediately asked him what he meant by that. He turned around and said you are a stupid and disabled girl”. Maybe he didn’t think I knew what Murdoch was, but I did. My mother works there she told me that is where adults with mental disabilities go when their families cannot take care of them. That is why it hurt my feelings, everyone knew I had a physical disability; however, it didn’t mean that I also had a mental disability as well.
In my seventh grade art class, I wanted to be a volunteer of that week to help pass out supplies for an assignment we were doing. A girl in my class decided she wanted to “help out”. First, I thought isn’t that’s sweet of her. Then after a few minutes she turns and says to me “Breyanna, why don’t you go sit down, I don’t want you to get tired, or start hurting.” I did sit down because; I thought she was just looking out for me. Then I overheard her later that day asking a friend of hers, if she knew the girl with the messed up hand? Her friend in turned asked, why? She said I saw her walking with a limp and decided I would help her because obviously she couldn’t have done it by herself.