I have just finished reading Out of My Mind. A 295 page novel by Sharon M. Draper.
11 year old Melody, diagnosed with cerebral palsy, cannot walk or talk. Despite her parents’ best efforts, the outside world has defined her by her condition. Melody’s life changes when inclusion classrooms are introduced in her school, and she interacts with children other than those in her special-needs unit. To these children, Melody is “other,” and they are mostly uncomfortable with her sounds and jerky movements. Normal problems of school friendships are magnified. Preparation for a trivia competition and acquisition of a computer that lets her communicate her thoughts reveal Melody’s intelligence to the world. Melody is an entirely complete character, who gives a compelling view from inside her mind. This book is rich in detail of both the essential normalcy and the difficulties of a young person with cerebral palsy.
I think this passage really shows the way Melody feel about doctors and people not understanding her.
“Doctors. Where do I start? Doctors really don’t get me. Mom’s a nurse, so I guess she speaks their language, but they sure don’t know how to talk to me.
I’ve seen dozens of doctors in my life, who all try to analyze me and figure me out. None of them can fix me, so I usually ignore them and act like the retarded person they think I am. I paste on a blank look, focus on one wall, and pretend their questions are too hard for me to understand. It’s sort of what they expect anyway.”(pg. 18)
To me, I can really see how frustrated Melody gets when doctors don’t understand her. She lives a life not being able to communicate! I feel sad for her that she’s very smart and no one knows.
Overall, this is a great book and I definitely recommend reading it! If I have to rate this book out of 10, I would give it a 8.