Hello and welcome to The Wheelchair Teen! My name is Simone and this is my website. On this page, you can find an introduction to my blog, information about me and my disability, and some suggestions for cool posts I think you should read. 😊
Introduction to The Wheelchair Teen
When I go outside, most of the people in wheelchairs that I see are either elderly or adults. And there don’t seem to be many blogs on the internet about how experiencing normal teen issues like puberty and school can be like for someone who is in a wheelchair. Therefore, The Wheelchair Teen is about my life as a black, disabled teenager growing up in a foreign country surrounded by mostly able-bodied people (for those who don’t know, ‘able-bodied’ is a term that refers to everyone who isn’t disabled).
I hope I will be able to provide a new, unique perspective of teen life to a lot of people, as well as being able to raise awareness and educate people about important disability issues. My life’s goal is to fight for more disabled representation in popular media and to let more disabled voices be heard. I’m determined to help end ableism and to let my community be viewed as equals. Make sure you comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or suggestions for things you’d like me to address on this blog. Feel free to ask me anything!
I’m from the Netherlands which is where I’ve lived since my family moved here from London when I was two. I’m the youngest in a family of six (four daughters) who were all born and raised in England. When you think Netherlands, don’t think lively and modern Amsterdam, think more village-y Holland. We live in Waalre surrounded by a mixture of modern buildings and animal farms. Cycle for a minute and you’ll encounter a herd of bison, another minute and you’ll pass a huge month-old hotel, another and the path will stink of aired out horse dung.
I go to an international English-speaking school where I am the only person there who is in a wheelchair, so going to school has most certainly been an adventure that comes with its ups and downs. I can speak Dutch fluently but I still grew up British watching shows like Balamory and Coronation Street, eating Malted Wheaties, and calling my parents Mummy and Daddy 😊.
I’m an avid reader, an extreme superhero fan, and an enthusiastic film and TV-show lover. Most of the time I can be found curled up with a good book, blogging, or working on my comic book about a team of disabled superheroes. I also enjoy creating digital art which I used to design the headers and the logo for this blog. I type, write, and draw with a pen in my mouth since I have little movement in my fingers.
I was born with Serious Progressive Axonal Polyneuropathy. The condition is progressive, so I started out the same as any other child, but gradually my condition worsened as the disability progressed. I lost the ability to walk when I was thirteen so I’m now a permanent wheelchair-user. The doctors don’t know if the progression will stop or how fast it will happen or… anything really. I could wake up paralysed tomorrow for all we know. That’s why I’m trying to live life for the moment and be grateful for everything that I’m still able to do. No one else in my family is disabled and I’ve never seen anyone else with my condition – it’s very rare. The effects of my disability are:
- I’m in a wheelchair and can’t walk because my legs can’t stretch out.
- I have no control over my knees, lower legs, ankles, feet, or toes, but some control over my upper legs which I can use to wriggle and manoeuvre the rest about.
- I have no control over my wrists so they flop around and have no movement in them.
- My fingers are permanently curled inwards but I can still grip things with my left hand which isn’t very helpful since I’m right-handed.
Unsure where to start?
My posts are split into six different categories which you can find at the top-left side of this page: Personal Experience posts tell stories about tough or triumphant events in my life, Thought Provoker posts are discussion posts that either raise awareness or tackle controversial topics, My Nugget of Wisdom for the Week posts are advice posts and I also share writing tips for authors who choose to write disabled characters, Current Updates and Recent Life posts are life updates that tell you about what I’ve been up to recently, Thinking Out Loud posts are about any topic that I feel like sharing or voicing my opinion on, In My Feeling posts centre around a specific emotion I feel regarding a certain aspect of my disability or life.
I recently created a new category: Disability Film and Book Reviews. There, you can find my review of films and books about disabled characters to support disabled filmmakers/authors and to raise awareness about disabled representation which is in fact problematic and inaccurate.
Here are some cool posts I think you should try! (Click on the post title to visit the post).
To read some Fun Disability Stories check out these posts:
To read more about Disabled Teen Life check out these posts:
To read about Important Disability Issues check out these posts: