My Graphics, Arts and Crafts Journey

Jasmine stands on the stage with a microphone in her hand.
illustration of a card with images on the cover.

I have a disability called Sotos Syndrome. I used to study in a mainstream school and was bullied quite often. It took me longer to keep up with studies and sports. I also got pushed around often causing me to fall and suffer hairline fractures in the ankle, elbow and finger. After sometime doctors in the emergency room started to say, “Oh! it’s you again.” I thought those who pushed me were my friends so I did not complain to the teachers. It made me very confused and sad.

One of my teachers said that through art I could communicate with my fellow students. When we would have art classes I felt relaxed and included. From there on, every day I practiced my arts and crafts at home. I paint the way I feel, sometimes when sad, the colours are black, grey or brown. Other times they are shades of red, green and blue. Painting is a therapy for persons with special needs for we actually feel relaxed and happy to see our paintings come to life. Having a disability doesn't stop a person from dreaming.

Doughnut illustration.

Ten years ago I was working in the Special Olympics Pakistan office on my laptop and one of our office staff told my mother that I should take some computer courses and guess what, I did a six months graphics course. Some years passed by and one of my friends motivated me to start designing things for Special Olympics Pakistan. Another colleague further trained me and I have designed mugs, pins, T-Shirts, posters, motivational quotes, greeting cards and name tags. I love doing graphics because I can express my feelings and spread the message of Special Olympics.

I would like to end with a message that having a disability is like having, “Super Powers.” Don't be sad, enjoy having Super Powers. If someone makes fun of you just smile and walk away.

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