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Thanks to Teachers: Karen Fox

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WLOS/WMYA

"I can't use this arm, right? and I kind of have a limp, so I'm going to show you what I had to wear when I was your age," teacher Karen Fox says to a Kindergarten class at Micaville Elementary.

"I hated this brace, and I was your age, and I didn't want to wear it," remembers the Special Education teacher who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at age two.

"I took it off and threw it away in the woods outside my house," Fox says.

Fox says her son found that brace some 30 years later.

Fox and some of her students who serve as 'kid teachers,' spent the day showing the Kindergartners what daily life with a disability can be like.

"It's okay to be different. People know, But you can pretend like there's not even a problem. You can just be yourself," explains third-grader Lilee who has autism.

"Weaknesses to me don't matter. It's what you do with what you have," states Fox.

Fox says going from a child who was not supposed to walk or talk, to a teacher of 30 years who runs, hikes and plays basketball was not easy.

But hard work and what she calls that 'spot of confidence' made it happen.

"No matter what people tell you, don't listen. Listen to that inner voice. Have that 'spot of confidence' that helps you grow," Fox advises.

Now that spot of confidence shows in her students as they teach the little ones about living a successful life with a disability.

"I think it's really fun to help other kids learn because it helps me learn stuff," says fifth-grader Darbie who has dyslexia.

"The important lessons are you can never let yourself down. You can do anything even without or with a disability," adds Lilee.

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