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When I was in 7th grade, I was invited to be part of a group of friends for a special girl called Lauren. Lauren had cerebral palsy. She could not talk, walk, or control her drooling. She had a computer to help her communicate with others and always needed an aide to help her. At first, I did not like her simply because she seemed very different and abnormal. I regarded all disabled people that way and didn’t even like looking at them. After being selected as a part of group, I had mixed emotions about how I felt. Me and some other girls really didn’t know how to react to Lauren. We were pleasantly surprised to find out that Lauren was not weird at all, and that she could talk very well through the computer. She actually had the same taste in music as I did, and also had all A’s. Despite her disability, she even rode horses and been to several riding camps for the physically disabled.

At the end of the year, we were all very sad to say goodbye to Lauren. At a pizza party, we found out that Lauren was moving away to find better treatment for her disability. She gave us gifts that day and it was the last day I ever saw her, so it was very surprising when 2 years later, I found Lauren on Facebook and she still remembered. Looking back at my friendship with Lauren, it changed me as a person because I no longer look at disabled persons as weird or abnormal. They are just like the rest of us. They did not choose to have or be born with their disability and no one has any rights to treat them like they did. Now, I am willing to take in any disabled person as my friend and am not embarrassed by them in any way.