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A child's perspective.

Anastasia Somoza, who has cerebral palsy, appeared with President Clinton on the cover of Exceptional Parent magazine last March. On national television she asked the President to help her sister, Alba, to be included in regular education classes. She testified earlier this year at a congressional hearing for reauthorization of the Technology-Related Assistance Act:

My name is Anastasia Somoza and I am nine years old. I live in New York City and go to school at P.S. 234 in Manhattan. I am in a third grade class in general education. I have a paraprofessional at school to assist me.

I have cerebral palsy and use a wheelchair. I also have a walker and a stander. I use a computer to help me with school work and special software. I wear braces on my legs to help keep them straight.

I like being in a regular class because I now have lots of friends. As my friends live nearby, they come over to my house for play dates and even sleepovers. At my old school, my friends lived too far away and they never came for play dates. We could not go to their house either because we do not have a car. All the kids at my old school were disabled and it was hard for their parents to bring them to my house.

My best friend at school is called Natalie. She is not disabled. She helps me with lots of things, and she plays with me at recess time. I am the only one in my class who cannot walk but that's okay. My friends push me around.

I have a twin sister who goes to the same school, but she is in a special class. She uses a computer to talk, and a different computer to do her studies. She also uses a wheelchair and a stander. She is very smart and I hope she can soon be in a regular class just like me. Thank you.
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Title Annotation:Anastasia Somoza, 1993 Inclusion Award winner
Publication:The Exceptional Parent
Date:Sep 1, 1993
Words:331
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