6 things you wanted to know about my cerebral palsy but were too afraid to ask.

When I meet new people, I know they have questions about my life. But all too often, they’re too afraid to ask them.

When I was about a year old, I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

I don’t know much about the day I came into the world or what caused my cerebral palsy because I’m adopted. I was born on the streets of Seoul, South Korea, presumably without proper prenatal care. Someone, who I’m assuming was my birth mother, had enough sense to drop me off at a police station with a note that read: “Please adopt her to a family that can raise her.”

A few months later, I joined my very large family in America. I was almost 11 months old.

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How ABC's 'Speechless' is changing attitudes about disability.

'Speechless' matters because inclusivity on TV promotes inclusivity in life.

Over six decades ago, a disabled character starred on a TV show for the very first time.

She was a woman and a wheelchair-using attorney, and she starred in "Martinsville, U.S.A." The program, a 15-minute soap opera, featured actress Susan Peters. In the storyline, she had moved back to her hometown of Martinsville, Ohio, to begin her own law practice.

Use of the wheelchair — unlike later instances, like Robert T. Ironside (a former cop who became a consultant for the San Francisco Police Department after being paralyzed from the waist down after getting shot in the line of duty) — wasn’t simply a plot device. Peters, who was paralyzed due to a hunting accident just a few years earlier, used a wheelchair both onscreen and off.

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Dear able-bodied partner,

At your predecessor’s apartment, I always took my shoes off as soon as I walked in. It wasn’t a house rule, but an effort to speed things along. My orthotics make shoe removal a complex procedure involving clasps, straps, and — much less sexy — a foam pad that looks like a Pringle. (If you don’t flinch at the Pringle, you’re a keeper.) It’s a clumsy detour to take once you’re making out so, as usual, I thought ahead.

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