Tennessee Kindred Stories of Disability

A collection of stories from individuals with disabilities, families, friends, and disability service providers in Tennessee



63 Stories Found

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Morgan (38), Autism, Dickson County

It would be a huge relief to us if we knew for a certainty that a plan was in place and fully funded to take care of our very dear son when we can no longer assume responsibility. ”

Paul (47), Other, Davidson County

He is most worried about being able to retire comfortably, because the extra cost of having a disability is not quite covered by the support he receives from the state alone.”

Ryan (29), Autism, Hamilton County

I don’t know who I can turn him over to that I can trust.”

John Mark (54), Intellectual Disability, Madison County

There was no support for children with disabilities at the time of John Mark’s diagnoses. ”

William (18), Cerebral Palsy, Shelby County

In the future, William aims to coach wheelchair basketball and to be a mentor for children going through situations similar to his. ”

David (7), Autism, Davidson County

The closest school and services in Mexico are a day long drive from where we lived. We would not be able to get the services for David if we went back to Mexico.”

Marina (11), Intellectual Disability, Davidson County

Marina’s time at school is crucial to her daily schedule and to her life in the community. ”

Chioma (10), Autism, Davidson County

My accent should not matter when it comes to getting services for my daughter.”

Stephen (17), Blind, Shelby County

Stephen is confident that he will find a job, but one of his biggest concerns is being turned down simply because of his vision impairment. ”

Elizabeth (18), Blind, Shelby County

She describes public school as a place that she went, accomplished her tasks, and hurried home. Wistfully, she explained the isolation she felt through her lack of participation in extra-curricular activities. ”

Wesley (18), Blind, Smith County

I don’t tell people I’m blind for starters. I don’t feel like it’s something they need to know. Type one people, when they do find out I’m blind, are just like, “Oh okay.” And then there’s type two, who instantly switch to baby mode, like I’m completely helpless. ”

Alex K (17), Blind, Jefferson County

People clearly treated him differently, and at times, it was very frustrating for Alex because he knew he was the same person he was before his diagnosis. ”

Jose (16), Autism, Rutherford County

My brother does get more attention, but it doesn’t like bug me as much because I know he’s special. But when I talk to his teachers they’ll be like, 'Well you have to treat him a little bit more normal because if not, he’s not going to get better.'”

Alex (18), Blind, Fayette County

I look at my disability and still consider myself lucky. I could have had so many other problems, and I just thank God every day.”

Patrick (23), Pervasive Developmental Disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), Williamson County

The main goal that Dena has set for Patrick is for him to become as self-sufficient as possible. ”

Maria (18), Blind, Davidson County

Like any other teenager, she loves her family but eagerly awaits full independence. ”

Jackson (4), Autism, Rutherford County

The one service [ABA] that has been deemed “optional” and thus not eligible for coverage is the one service most vital to Jackson’s progress.”

Seth (23), Autism, Williamson County

If Seth had waiver services, everything would change. He would have something to look forward to and something to do. ”

Mark (42), Autism, Davidson County

I feel like if we got waiver services today it would be like being let out of prison. ”

Christopher (18), Cerebral Palsy, Shelby County

It’s overwhelming to go to the school, and feel like you have to get down on your hands and knees and beg for services you know your children should have. ”