Author Archives: Alyssa Silva

Cherishing Togetherness During the Holidays

Every year at Christmastime, my family carries out one of my favorite traditions. We all gather in the living room — my parents, brother, his wife and kids, and me — and watch the classic Claymation movie “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” To complete our viewing experience,…

Being Rare Is All I’ve Ever Known

If you were to sort through my medical records, you would notice that some of the files list my diagnosis as “SMA I/II.” I had a good chuckle the first time I noticed this. After all, there is no such thing as spinal muscular atrophy type 1/2. I was…

Living With SMA Taught Me to Think Efficiently

Something you may not know about me is that I have a tendency to make a lot of impulsive decisions. Of course, when it comes to more complicated and serious matters that require tougher decisions to be made, I take my time and carefully examine the circumstances and craft…

Glam for the Scan: How One Outfit Changed Everything

While I can’t speak on behalf of every medical professional I’ve come across in my lifetime (truth be told, that’d be quite a large number), I wouldn’t be surprised if they thought I didn’t own many clothes. I wouldn’t blame them. After all, I’ve been wearing the exact same…

Why I Welcome Children’s Curiosity About My Disability

A few years ago, I wrote about the need for more understanding and awareness about disability. No matter how many years have passed or how much has changed, I’ve always felt strongly that this topic should be included in everyday conversations about disability. In that column, I…

Why My Journey With Disability Pride Isn’t Linear

Even though I’ve been disabled all my life, I had never heard of Disability Pride Month until I scrolled past someone’s Instagram post last July. I guess that’s the beauty of social media: For every detrimental effect it has on our well-being, it can also serve as…