When Arlene Sollis was born with cerebral palsy in 1935, the doctor advised her parents against taking her home. He said she would never function on her own—that she would be mentally handicapped and unlikely to survive beyond the age of ten. Her quality of life, the doctor said, would be minimal at best, and so he recommended that she be sent to an institution, where she would be taken care of.
Her mother refused, instead taking Arlene home with her. And all of the doctor’s predictions turned out to be false. Arlene turned out to be a bright child with a true zest for life. Although she has certainly faced struggles and difficulties in her life, she grew to adulthood and eventually became a special education teacher. She dedicated her life to promoting the rights of all disabled people, receiving many awards and citations for her work.
This memoir tells the true and inspiring story of Arlene’s life, following her from birth until the present and recalling her childhood, teaching career, progression of her condition, and retirement.