As a boy who was bullied by my friends and my teacher, I remember feeling alone when I could not play basketball with the other kids and when I would eat lunch alone. It was embarrassing when my teacher would yell at me in front of the class because I would forget things or need extra help.
Just because I misspell words it does not mean that kids should tease me. Having special needs does not make me different from the other kids. I learn in a different way so that makes me special. I used to feel hurt by what other people said about me. By taking ballroom dance lessons, I have found my ability. Some kids play basketball, some kids play soccer but I dance.
It was easy for me to dance because the steps are repeated over and over again until I get them right. The rhythm of the music helps me move. Looking into my dance partner’s eyes helps me feel proud and confident. When I talk about the dance steps with my dance partner and my teacher, I am not embarrassed because they accept my mistakes even if I use the wrongs words. I am not afraid to be me on the dance floor. After I learned the cha cha, I was so proud of myself.
I feel very special to be the reason for my mom writing her book. Aiden’s Waltz describes my feelings and how I faced the bullies everyday at school. By being with my mom at her book events, I want to show that bullies do not have to bring you down. When I dance at the book events, I am showing everybody that there are peaceful ways to beat the bullies and to feel good about yourself.
Also, I want to teach other people about ballroom dance and how it can help them too. Ballroom dancing taught me that I can do great things. I know that other kids with special needs can do great things too.
If I had to send a message to everyone out there, I would ask everyone to help stop the bullying. Even if you are a kid, say something. If you see someone getting bullied and you do not tell an adult, you are a part of the bullying too. I wish someone had spoken up for me.
I also want everyone to know that ALL people with special needs have a talent. All we need is someone to support us and guide us. What matters is how you feel about yourself, not what other people think of you. Be proud of who you are and what you have to offer.
I hope that the next time you see someone who looks different, someone who uses a wheelchair or someone who is just not like you, that you look past their disability and you see them for what they can do. All people have the ABILITY to achieve personal success.