Part of Me, Not All of Me

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A young woman holds two balloons and the screen reads, "Part of me, not all of me"
[Narrator] What do you look for when you meet someone new? What do you listen for?
[Cassie] I like people who have the same interests as me. Like, I play video games, I do sports..
[Marlen] If they're outgoing..
[Hunter] I look for my own characteristics in other people. It helps me relate to them.
[Noah] If a person's open minded, and they're into the same kind of, like, music....
[Kayla] If they're fun, and if they, like, have a positive attitude...
[Vishal] I'd like to meet someone that has the same.... maybe, attitude, or same beliefs.
[Kayla] If you have that chemistry with someone, then it'll just, it'll go pretty far.
[Narrator] That pretty much sums it up. When we meet a new roommate, the co-worker in the next cubicle, or a possible friend, we look for similarities.
[Stefani] If they're talking about, like, similar interests that I have, then that kind of helps.
[Narrator] We're also watching for positive reactions from people we meet.
[Jesse] They don't necessarily have to be like me, but I look for someone who respects, who respects the way I am and doesn't judge me for it.
[Narrator] A little conversation, an exchange of information, a respect for differences: those are building blocks for good interaction.
Students walking beside friends in wheelchairs.
But what happens when only one part of you is noticed by others? What if people only see something that's different from them, them, such as a disability?
[Jennifer] When they treat me like I'm two.
[Daman] And especially in restaurants. Maybe 90 percent of the time, the waitress treats me like a baby.
[Hunter] Throughout growing up, I've been ridiculed by both staff and students, at various schools and stuff.
[Shavonne] One thing I don't like that they do sometimes, is they look me up and down. You can see their eyes just like, going up and down, looking at the wheelchair and me.
In a classroom students are working at computers.
[Narrator] Remember back in grade school when some teacher told you that, "It's what's inside that counts? " Feelings, preferences, ethics, intelligence-all the things you can't see-are what define us as individuals. Having a disability is part of a person's identity as well, as it's something to deal with every day, and something that may influence recreation, career, and other choices. But that's the key word: part. There's so much more to anyone and everyone than how they speak, hear, see, or move around. Check it out.
[Zach] I love to play football. And someday I hope to actually get to do cliff jumping, which is basically, ah, jump off the cliff, and then you parachute off of it. It's a lot of fun. I am kind of an adrenaline junkie.
[Kayla] I like roller coasters, and I like to go boating, and like, someday I would love to skydive. I really enjoy hearing other points of view, so you know, whether it be political or different hobbies, it's always fun to experience different things.
[Vishal] I like to hang out with people, I like to do fun things with friends, and see sports games. I love sports.
[Cassie] I love trying new things. Like, I was one of the first people to actually play tennis on my high school team in a wheelchair. I did basketball, tennis, archery, swimming, track, field.
[Marlen] I'm from an island. My parents told me we were going to visit Orcas Island, and we ended up staying there. I'm the outgoing type. I like going outside. I don't like being cooped up.
[Michael] I have a great sense of humor. Even if it's like one of the weirdest jokes in the world, you might get a chuckle out of me for it.
[Jesse] I'm a big video game player and everything. I like to listen to music. I have a rather extensive collection of CDs, actually. Sometimes I like to play chess, and I'm really into computers, too.
[Sakina] I love to travel. I've gone to almost all the 50 states. I've gone overseas to, like, Pakistan and all around Europe. I have a map in my room of pins, like where I've been, and like, the red ones for where I've been and green ones for where I want to go.
[Daman] When I was in high school, I was involved in everything: ASB president; National Honor Society as the treasurer; Unity Club as the vice president; DECA as the treasurer.
[Meg] I love working with animals.
[Noah] I've been volunteering for the past two years at the teen center by my house.
[Stefani] I play about eleven different instruments, and I'm in choir for school.
[Meg] I like working with the elderly.
[Shavonne] I'm going to hopefully go to medical school to be a podiatrist. Last year, I worked with a doctor here locally in Seattle. He invited me to come intern. He does in-office procedures of toenail removal and things like that, that's a fun one to watch. Most people would find it gross, but I found it very fascinating.
[Hunter] If I had a cure for autism, I would never take it. Autism is me. It is what makes me who I am, and I'm embracing it, and I'm never letting it go. So, I'm proud to be autistic, and I'm proud that my friends are autistic, and Aspies forever! You know. That's all I have to say, really.