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Expert advice on coping with disability

It is interesting to see how life can turn itself around. A rich person can become poor and a poor person can become rich. Thin can become fat and fat become thin. A person who was once rejected because of a disability can be sought after for advice about disabilities.

"For someone with a lifelong disability, aging is the ultimate revenge." That observation is from a woman who has dealt with a disability for as long as she can remember and has in recent years experienced a dramatic shift in her roles in life.

She writes that when she was young, the other kids knew that her disability prevented her from making throws, sinking baskets and catching balls. She says she has Erb’s palsy. It was caused by a birth injury that damaged nerves in her left shoulder. She has "very limited use" of her left arm, she notes.

Now that her friends are older, they have discovered that they are no longer among the able-bodied. Like many older people, they have developed medical conditions that make daily tasks difficult; tasks that were long taken for granted.

She says that her life with a disability has enabled her to quickly find effective ways of coping with physical limitations. Use your strong hand, she advises, and buy clothes with buttons rather than zippers. She also shares a secret about making sure she gets a tasty treat: "I open the cellophane on fortune cookies with my teeth."

There is other advice from other experts, of course, including for those whose disability prevents them from working: apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal.

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