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We Are Not Defined By Our Struggles

Published | By
Alyson Taylor

What follows is a long, emotional post. Around a year ago, I graduated from a great school, Emory University, on the same week as Apraxia Awareness Day, and I just happened to have worn a blue dress. I was diagnosed with apraxia when I was around 4 years old, back in the nineties.

There was very little known about the disorder, so little that a local college actually used me as a case study for 13 years. I and my parents had to consistently battle with school, friendships, confidence, communication, and bullies.  I had never witnessed an Apraxia Awareness Day until this year.

To look at all this unity, not only makes me beyond emotional, but you all are giving voices to the voiceless and the struggled voices. Growing up, I often felt defined by my voice and speech – the “girl with the funny accent.”  But I eventually learned something very important.

alyson taylor

In these graduation pics, I’m not defined by my blue dress- I got a black graduation robe like everyone else. And I am not defined by my “funny” speech or accent, because at least I have a voice like everyone else whether it be orally, written, or even emotional facial expressions. I suppose the point I’m trying to bring across in this emotional post is celebrate and raise awareness for apraxia, those diagnosed, and their accomplishments; but also remember that we are not defined by our struggles and should find our strengths even within our weaknesses.