“I refuse to wear a label”
by: Vincent Primavera
My life is one of many millions in the world; some consider me a bundle of excitement, laughs, and friendliness. But little does the world know, I am disabled. Here is my story.
I stand in a world where not many things make sense to me. My life was always a world of ups and downs; where the only thing that made sense to me was game shows; it was at that moment in time, that I knew I was autistic. When watching Wheel of Fortune one night before the millennium, I solved a puzzle with only two letters on the board, in the back of my head; I was astonished- then it occurred to me; I am a genius in the making.
In fourth grade while attending Hampton Bays Elementary, my family suffered a loss in our family. That was the day the twin towers collapsed; sadly we lost two cousins that day then it hit me; September 11th was the same number as if you wanted to dial a emergency. My powers of noticing even the smallest things became more and more extraordinary. It was also in that year my parents noticed changes in me. They figured it was the right time to tell me my IQ was through the roof, at 120.
It was too much to process at the time, being that I was only ten years old, but I guess it happens to most people. It felt like a giant punching glove smacking me in the face, telling me I was different then all the rest. It was in that year that I decided to be part of the Scrabble club. That is when I saw my gift in action. Ruling out the rest of the class with scores in the three hundred point range, my Hampton Bays School Scrabble teacher knew that I was the prophet to help the team out. In the last year of the Scrabble tournaments I was allowed to participate, our team mastered 13th out of the nation.
As time moved on , so did the school arrangement. My classes became difficult, and my grades were at 50-60; something had to be done. Luckily, my father was part of the board at Hampton Bays, so we got the transfer so my studies were now at BOCES. At the school, is where my second family was located. I will always be thankful for the years I was in there; they treated me like a human being and not just a name on a attendance sheet.
In June 2010, I graduated from BOCES with about twenty other students, holding in my emotions , knowing this will be the last time my eyes would ever see them again. My life did get better though after that, because fifty of them sent me friend requests right after on a social network site; I knew in my heart that they still loved me as family, and they would never want to stop talking to me , but better things were in store.
In July 2011, Wheel of Fortune was on at the household. While I was sitting on the couch, it came to my attention that the million dollar wedge was not on the wheel. I called the show hoping to hear a reply; and in no time at all, the phone call rings with the producer of the show calling me, saying I was one of three people to notice the mistake, and he sent a invitation for me to tryout for the show. At the tryout I was handed a test , and received nineteen out of twenty puzzles correct.
This being said, I am very happy to be part of theEast End, and I’m happy to know I have my family to support me in all that I do, therefore, I will not wear a label!