Did you go to secondary school with a mainstream student in a wheelchair?

How did others students interact with them? Did they? Please share your experiences.

One of the girls in my high school was in a wheelchair (well, a motorized scooter.) She was in the honors classes. I don’t recall it being much of a big deal at all. We walked, she motored along. I’m sure she’d have more to say about it, but it wasn’t a big disruption for the school or anything.

When I taught, I had a student in a wheelchair and it didn’t change anything. Students all look the same when they are seated!

I went to school with a couple of girls in wheelchairs.

One of the girls was not well liked because she had an extremely abrasive personality.

One of the other girls was well liked. Students interacted with her but I don’t think they did much out of the school context.

BNB: I suspected the second sitution.

I was one of 3 wheelchair uses in my HS. We could be divided into three categories:

1.Had a life outside school
2.No life outside school, bothered them (me)
3.No life outside school, appearantly fine with it

Now that I think about it, my high school wasn’t accessible at all. That was in the 80’s and it’s been rebuilt since then, but there were stairs everywhere, no ramps or elevators. Huh.

My first two years of high school there were a couple students in wheelchairs. I didn’t know any personally though.

No wheelchairs at my school, but someone got a kid with Down’s Syndrome interested in bodybuilding. He was a sight to see. I never actually saw him IN school but I’m sure if he was he wouldn’t have been bullied.

As an adult, I see things so differently.
I see the first girl being abrasive as a way to protect herself. It breaks my heart, really.

The second girl, I didn’t really know personally. I didn’t go out either, in high school so for all I know, she might have gone. I just never heard about her having been at such and such party, etc.

Things were different in college. My university had (has) a wheelchair basketball team that is highly regarded. There seems to be many people in wheelchairs there. I for sure heard stories of many being at parties and such.

I didn’t ask about college precisly because it’s easier to socialize, and people tend to be more mature WRT differences.

Couldn’t everyone be divided into those three catagories?

I figured. Thought to add it in because it really was a huge difference.

Nope. Not possible at the time…though my school is now quite progressive around cultural difference.

One of my friends from high school uses a wheelchair on bad days now, but at the time we were in high school she could walk, without crutches though with difficulty. She has cerebral palsy.

If she had needed to use a wheelchair then, she wouldn’t have gone to the same school as me, because the building had no facilities at all for wheelchair users. Stairs all over the place and no elevators, for instance.

I went to secondary school in the 50s and early 60s. I did not know one kid in a wheelchair . . . and there were over 3,000 kids in my high school alone. I knew kids who’d had polio, but none of them were in wheelchairs. I’m sure the schools were not handicapped-friendly back then. No ramps, etc.

I went to school with one kid who was on a weelchair. He seemed fine, and was quite a chemisty whiz. I am a FB friend with him, he works for an engineering company.

Had one girl who was a sports star who wound up a quadriplegic due to an accident with a gun. Came back her junior year in a motorized wheelchair. She was very angry about a lot of things so while her past popularity helped her stay socially connected, her abrasiveness, abusive language, and a brief period of running into/over other people with her wheelchair got her into a lot of trouble.

I did understand why she was so pissed off - it’s gotta be hard to go from healthy soccer/volleyball/cheerleading star to being utterly helpless. But man, she was a complete bitch at times.

It didn’t help that the accident screwed up her family life, too - her brother had been handling the hunting rifle that went off, the bullet going through several walls to hit her in the neck. All sorts of guilt and recriminations. Basically, she had all sorts of crap going on at both school and at home and unlike most teenagers she couldn’t escape by, say, walking to a friend’s house or whatever. Going anywhere required major assistance and good luck getting a family member to help with that when everyone in the house was screaming at each other.

Such an ugly situation. I hope things got sorted out for all of them later on.

Mostly, my school had lots of deaf kids. We did have elevators and ramps so mobility-impaired handicapped kids could go there.

I went to high school–early 1970s–with a girl in a wheelchair, Flossie. She was a pistol, everyone liked her. She was loud and funny and took no crap, and loved going to the top of the auditorium ramp, letting loose of her brakes and yelling “look out below!

I’m completely serious when I say that not only did we not have any kids in a wheelchair, we didn’t have one single visible minority: no black kids, no Hispanics, no Asians, no anything!

My school consisted of 500-odd white, Anglo, middle-class kids.

Times have changed.

There’s a woman in my local alumni club who is wheelchair-bound, and she graduated with honors. I’ve met her a couple of times in a social setting, and everyone interacts with her just as normally as anyone else. My valedictorian was blind, and he went on to medical school. I didn’t know him as I wasn’t in pre-med or in his dorm, but word has it that he had no trouble making friends (chicks dig seeing eye dogs).

That must have been really hard for you. No teenager wants to be perceived as different.

I empathize with the feeling of being left out. While I was in high school we lived so far out in the country that I never got to do any of the things that the kids who lived in town did. Summers were a vast wasteland. Sucked.