This time her new friend, Jade spoke for her. Jade sounded as angry as Emily felt. ‘That’s not fair, Mrs Mills, she said. ‘We’ve worked so hard for this. We can do it. I know we can. We have Tim to help too…’

Mrs Mills tried again. ‘I’m sorry, Jade. I cannot allow Emily out in the playground without supervision.’

Jade tried once more to reason with the principal. Emily shot her a warning look as she heard her friend’s voice rise in anger. Jade ignored her.

‘But I can look after her,’ she pleaded. ‘We are in grade six now and you know I’m responsible.’

Emily watched in alarm as the principal’s face flushed. She squirmed in her wheelchair as Mrs Mills answered Jade.

Without speech (excerpt)

Emily’s blue eyes filled with tears. If only she could speak for herself. At times like these she felt almost overwhelmed by the difficulties of having cerebral palsy. In utter frustration she banged her heels against the footrest of her wheelchair.