I cannot remember the exact wording, but I remember the message of it all. My school's newspaper had a special for the month: a Post Secret-like center spread where cryptic messages were to be displayed in an artful way. Most of them were rather silly- the one I included was. But there was one that hit me, if only because I could immediately guess who it was. It expressed a wish that the writer, who was in a wheelchair, would be treated and seen as normal despite it.
There's a girl with some health problems I cannot even begin to guess at who attends my school. As far as I can tell, they are not fatal or dangerous, or at least not immediately so, but they have left her with some sort of speech impediment and in a wheelchair. It would be easy to mistake her for someone of a lesser level of cognitive function.
But she's not. If you pay attention, she is able to do anything a "normal" person could do, think whatever a "normal" person could think and understand. Yet through my own misconceptions I can surmise that she is surely misjudged and treated in the easy, intellectually-devoid way that those with impaired intelligence require. How it must sting; how it must demean!... My shame is easily all the school's shame.
When I see her in the halls, I make an effort to smile her way, just in case she needs it.