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Thursday, May 30, 2019

The struggle of dyslexia #dyslexia #authorrachelkaplan #reading

The struggle of having dyslexia in my life:  When I was little my parents could not understand why I had not learned to read yet.  I also could not understand why so many of my friends could read but I couldn’t. My parents took me to so many appointments to figure out why I was having problems.

No one could figure how I could learn to read.  When I was in school it was so frustrating that I could not read a book.  I wanted to spend every summer with my friends and have fun but I had to go to summer reading programs to try to learn to read.  I did not understand why I had to go. I wanted to hang out with my friends in the summer, but I couldn’t.

Finally, I was diagnosed with dyslexia.  I was so happy I finally knew why I couldn’t read.  School was so hard for me because I did not want my friends to know.  I was scared they would treat me differently.  I always pretended to read so my friends would never find out.  When my friends found out, some treated me differently and some did not care.

Still having dyslexia is a struggle. I know I have to work twice as hard.  I may not like having dyslexia, but having dyslexia makes me who I am and I would not have it any other way.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Hold on to your imagination #authorrachelkaplan #imagination #believeinmagic

What Disneyland means to me:  A lot of people have asked me that question throughout the years.  For me Disneyland means wonder and imagination and that anything is possible.  I feel that way every time I enter Disneyland.

When you walk around it is like you’re stepping into a book and you see your favorite characters come to life.  From  the moment you walk through Sleeping Beauty’s Castle it is more like you’re in a fairytale where you can always be yourself.  It is like reading a Disney book for the first time and you feel like all the stories come to life.

It is important to keep having your imagination because if we lose our  imagination we could not dream and wonder. To me, that is what Disneyland is all about; having imagination and having fun.







Tuesday, May 21, 2019

DREAM BIG #authorrachelkaplan #dreambig #beingarolemodel #keepdreaming

Why I want to to be a role model:  When I was little I was bullied so much and I was always told I could not do things.  I always wanted to be an author and tell my own stories through my eyes and what I go through.

?So many people in my life said to me you could never write a book and who would ever want to listen to your story.   I used  to think everyone was right.  Why should I write a book nobody would want to read?  Who would want to read a book about my life and what I go through?

One day I was thinking to myself that I want to try and make people happy and understand  that they are not alone. I know how it feels to be alone.  A lot of people may not understand what other people go through day to day.  I get it because I was bullied.

That is why I want to be a role model to tell all of you that you can do anything if you try your best.  Don’t  listen to other people that are telling you you can’t do anything because you can do anything. I  am so happy I never gave up on my dreams, so don’t ever give up on yours.

Friday, May 17, 2019

HAVING ANXIETY ON VACATION #authorrachelkaplan #anxiety #anxietyonvacation

Going to Disneyland can be really fun and exciting.   I love going to Disneyland. Going  to Disneyland is so magical and exciting.  But sometimes whenever I go I have anxiety.  For me whenever I have some anxiety at Disneyland it is a struggle for me.

It is annoying going through anxiety while you’re at the happiest place on earth.  It like I want to have fun at Disneyland but sometimes I can’t because I’m so focused on my anxiety. I found ways that calm me down whenever I have anxiety here.

Going  on some of the Disney rides calms me down. Seeing the Disney characters calms me down as well.  Shopping also helps me focus on other things.  Having anxiety at Disneyland is annoying and I really, really, don’t like it.

But, I’m not going to stop going to Disneyland and doing things I like just because I have anxiety.  Yes, it is a struggle to go to Disneyland on vacation, but I  work to have fun at the happiest place on earth.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

WHO I AM #authorrachelkaplan

This blog is going to about what I like to do and about me.  I really love watching Disney movies, mainly the old cartoon classic movies.  But I do like some of the Disney remakes. I love musicals, not all of them but most of them.

I love visiting Disneyland, every year for my birthday.  I always loved Disneyland ever since I was little.   I love the magical atmosphere and that it bring the stories to life.  It is like you are in the stories. 

 I love music.  I am always listening to music.  For me, music is relaxing especially when I get to listen to music while playing my guitar.  

I love reading books.  I am really happy I learned to read because i would have never realized that I love reading books. For me reading books takes you to different worlds and opens up your imagination.  It allows you to make up your own story.

I love watching tv. I do not watch tv that much, but try to get a chance.  I also love hanging out with my friends whenever I have a chance.  I love being myself around them.   I also love spending time with my wonderful dog, Smokey.  He loves when I read to him and play with him.  He is my best buddy.

I love writing books and being a inspiration to people.  Well, that sums things up about me.



Friday, May 10, 2019

Music is all around us #authorrachelkaplan #lovemusic #music

Why I like music: I always loved music ever since I was little.  Music was a part of my life then and it is still a part of my life now.  Music changed me. I was always shy and not confident in myself.

Music helps me in a lot of ways. For example when I have anxiety music calms me down.  I always wanted to learn how to play guitar, but with my shaky hands I did not think it was possible.  I could not remember the notes of the songs.  I wanted to learn to how to play and I was not going to give up on what I always wanted to do.

I decided to take guitar lessons and the guitar teacher could not believe that I picked up the notes right away by listening.  I could not believe it either.  Now l love playing my guitar while listening to music and I remember the notes just by listening to the music.

A lot of people thought I could never learn a musical instrument because I had shaky hands.  I used to believe them and believe that they where right. But, I’m glad I never gave up because I knew I could learn to play guitar.

So, never give up on what you want to do in life or learn.   You never know!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

STAND UP FOR YOURSELF #authorrachelkaplan #standupforyourself #anythingispossible #bekind

I was bullied all my life and I did not know why I was being bullied.  I remember I was bullied in High School so much that I just did not want to go to school.  But one day I said to myself, “Enough is enough”.  I decided to write a book about my life, “Growing Up with a Disability.”

 I wanted people to know my life story and to spread the word about being kind to other people.  Also, everyone has a story to tell and it is not ok at all to bully other people.  I always felt alone because I thought no one would understand me, but I was wrong.  A lot of people care.

 I am so proud of the first book that I wrote because it tells the story through my eyes and what I went through.  I learned the best lesson of all.  It is ok to be you and if people don’t understand it is not your problem.  I used to care what people thought about me, but I don’t care what other people think about me now.

I am myself and I am not going to change myself for other people.  We all need to learn to be kind to each other and that everyone is unique in their own way.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Radio Disney #authorrachelkaplan #radiodisney

My experience on Radio Disney: I always loved writing books and telling my story. I always wanted to be an inspiration to other people. I wrote my first book in High School. I wrote this book, Growing Up With a Disability to tell my story. I did not think my first book would go so far to the point I got to be on Radio Disney to be interviewed about my book.

 I was excited  and nervous because I never was interviewed before.  I was excited  because I got to go to the Radio Disney recording studio. Till this day, I still can’t believe it.

I think why it meant so much to me is because I never gave up and someone took a chance on me. And for that I am thankful.  Being  on Radio Disney was a wonderful experience.   And then something wonderful happened after the interview.  I was invited to be a guest at the premiere of Wreck- It Ralph.

Now I know what I want to do.  I want to keep writing and be inspiration to a lot of people. It might take time but I am never giving up. I know one day someone will listen to my stories.  My point is if you have a dream, don’t give up because you will never know until you try.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Heartfelt thanks #authorrachelkaplan #disneylandmagic #anythingispossible

Thanks to Disneyland: There are no words that can describe how I feel about Disneyland. Disney changed my life from Disneyland and Disney movies. I watched Disney movies from when I was little to now.  I have a lot of favorite Disney movies, but two Disney movie changed my life forever.

The movies that changed my life are the Disney movie Lilo and Stitch and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. The reason both movies are my favorite is because both movies have beautiful and magical meaning to me. That meaning is that true beauty is found within.  Disneyland also changed my life with the  greatest characters and the best experiences I have ever had.

The  characters always put a smile on my face.  The characters always shows you kindness and that it is ok to be you.  I love going to Disneyland with the magic and wonder.  So, thank you to Disneyland for letting me know it is ok to be myself.  Thank you for the wonderful memories and the best experiences I have ever had.  Also, thank you to the Disney characters for making me feel like anything is possible. The kindness Disney shares is truly magical.





Friday, April 26, 2019

be yourself #authorrachelkaplan #believeinyourself

My last year of high school:  I was so excited and sad about my last year of high school.  Having anxiety and going to school was really hard and challenging. But, I got to pick special classics for my last year.  So, I decided to take film studies.  Film studies was a lot of fun.  We watched classic movies. This was the best because I really love watching classic movies.

I also took drama class which was fun because we got to act and read scripts.  I love acting.  The class was so much fun.  The last class I chose was probably my favorite class of all time.  It  was choir.  We had an amazing teacher.  I took this class because I love to sing and perform on stage.

 I was so happy that this was my last year,  but I was also sad because I had to say goodbye to my choir friends.  It was so hard to say goodbye to them. My last day I was invited to the senior award ceremony.  I got the biggest surprise that I could ever imagine.   My favorite teacher gave me an award for outstanding achievement.  I almost cried.  But,  the best part was I got a standing ovation from everyone.  That feeling and moment was so incredible, I will never forget that moment!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Hold on to your dreams #authorrachelkaplan #inspiration #believeinyourself #scottsdaleauthor

Scottsdale author Rachel Kaplan inspires through reading, writing





Author Rachel Kaplan inspires others with her three books. (Submitted photo) 

Scottsdale resident Rachel Kaplan tells a story of inspiration as she penned books on being kind and living with a disability.
The author had two book signings at Barnes and Noble, 10500 N. 90th St. She recently published “Snowball’s Winter Wonderland Adventure,” which gives a narrative of friendship, teamwork and climate change. 
Her other books are: “Growing Up with a Disability” for children to learn the importance of kindness and acceptance; and “The Adventures of Smokey,” which is about her dog she got from Arizona Foothills Rescue.
She donates all the proceeds from the book about Smokey to benefit the rescue organization. 
“My dog, Smokey, is my best friend. We both rescued each other. He is there for me when I have anxiety and calms me down. I read him bedtime stories every night. He waits to have them read and falls asleep,” said Ms. Kaplan. 
“‘The Adventures of Smokey’ is about adopting a dog. He is more than a dog. He is my best friend. He helps me through my anxiety in hard times. He is the best distraction.”  
In addition to her dog, Ms. Kaplan quells her bouts of anxiety through music, playing her guitar, scrapbooking and blogging.
Writing books can be considered an accomplishment for anyone embarking on that endeavor; but for Ms. Kaplan, the achievement was a milestone as she recalls her personal experience of not learning to read until high school. 
The Pinnacle High School graduate said learning to read lessened her frustrations and helped her imagination grow. 
“I started out learning from watching Disney movies and musicals and from Disney books that were read to me. I was good at remembering what I saw and heard,” Ms. Kaplan, 25, said.
“There was a special reading program that Ms. Evans, my teacher at Pinnacle High School, was trained in. She worked very hard with me and taught me how to read. She taught me how to sound out words and made it fun.”
From conquering struggles in school to embracing reading and writing, Ms. Kaplan is an example of what she tries to demonstrate to today’s youth, which is to be themselves and not let anyone stop them.
Her motto is: Anything is possible, even the impossible.
Apart from writing, she enjoys working part time at Family Eyecare of Glendale.
“‘Growing Up with a Disability’ tells my story through my eyes. It lets people know what I experienced daily. It talks about accepting people who are different and not to judge them before you know them,” Ms. Kaplan said.
At times, Ms. Kaplan was embarrassed and bullied, said her mother Sue Kaplan, sharing how her daughter struggled with a severe learning disability and daily anxiety. 




Rachel Kaplan with her mom, Sue. (Submitted photo)
“As a parent who has a special needs child, there is a struggle to recognize their potential, and have them reach their potential, and feel accepted and unconditionally loved. Rachel’s disabilities are still a source of struggles,” said Sue Kaplan.
Aside from special needs children’s struggles, she mentioned obstacles many adults face when living with disabilities such as the inability to drive and few employment opportunities.
“We are fortunate that she is able to assist in her dad’s office on a limited basis. As special needs services end when an individual becomes 21, they become isolated and feel alone,” Sue Kaplan said.
“There are a lack of opportunities for social interaction and employment. We are faced with a large body of youth and young adults who need opportunities to feel productive, work, and have self-worth.”
She said it is important to share her daughter’s struggles with a learning disability, tremors with her hands and bouts of anxiety since many children face similar struggles.

“My inspiration and motivation is seeing my children happy. Everyone has challenges to face. It is just that individuals with special needs have tremendous challenges to face.”
She encourages youths to be kind while understanding that many people are different and have struggles.  
“Work toward achieving your dream. Accept people for their differences because it is what makes us unique. Be empathetic. Be a friend,” Sue Kaplan said.
Independent Newsmedia News Services Specialist Delarita Ford can be reached by e-mail at dford@newszap.com.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Magical Disneyland. #authorrachelkaplan #disneyland #magical #happiestplaceonearth

What I like to do at Disneyland: Whenever I go to Disneyland and I am walking through the gate to Disneyland it still feels magical to me.  Every time I go I always have to see Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and while I always sit by Sleeping Beauty’s Castle I always am eating a churro in one hand while I enjoy looking at Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.

  Sometimes I get the delicious pickles.  I finally tried the Mickey soft  pretzel which is so good.  I also tried the giant Mickey Mouse cookie which I love.  I also love the chocolate covered  Mickey pretzels and I always get the Disney chocolate coins.  But, what I really love is the popcorn.

  I always go on the rides.  My favorite rides are The Little Mermaid,  Monster, inc and Winnie the Pooh. I love going shopping at Disneyland and I love watching the parades. But, most of all,  I like seeing all the characters and spending time with them.

 The best part is I could always be myself.  Yes, I do have to go home,  but whenever  I come back to Disneyland all the characters are always happy to see me.  I love going back to the most happiest place on Earth.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Fun things i like to do #authorrachelkaplan

What I like to do in my spare time:  Whenever I go to Disneyland I like to take photos with the characters or if I have a special experience at Disneyland. When I come home from my trip I print out the photos of the characters and me or if Disneyland gives me a special photo or gift, I scrapbook all of it so I will remember all the wonderful memories that I had at Disneyland.

I also love listening to music.  I love playing my guitar whenever I have a stressful or a bad day.  I pick up my guitar and start playing while I listen to music.  Playing the guitar makes me happy.

Sometimes I like watching movies, mostly Disney and sometimes musicals.  Some of my favorite Disney movies are Celebrating  Mickey, Lion King 2, Mary Poppins Returns,  Piglet’s Big Movie, Pooh’s Grand Adventure, and The Emperor’s New Groove.

My favorite musicals are Into the Woods and Hairspray. I also love spending time with my friends. But, what I really, really, love is to go to Disneyland.  The reason I love going to Disneyland is seeing the Disney characters. But, mostly I could be myself.   To me, Disneyland is like walking into a magical world where anything is possible.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Living with anxiety #authorrachelkaplan #anxiety #livingwithanxiety

This is my own story of living with with anxiety.  All of my life I had anxiety.  I never really understood that I had anxiety until I was much older.  Living with anxiety is sometimes hard.

When I was in school I always felt embarrassed.  I always wanted to go home early from school because I had so much anxiety that I could not focus. After school ended for me I noticed I was having a lot more anxiety.  It is some times really hard to go out places. Sometimes I can not go to places.

I have a few friends that do understand what I go through day to day. I get tired real easily. I used to feel embarrassed to tell people my story and what I go through from time to time.  Now I really don’t care some people may understand or they may not.

That is why I like to go to Disneyland because I always could be myself .  Having  anxiety may be a pain sometimes,  but that is what made me who I am.  I know with great friends beside me, my family and my dog that I’m not alone with this. For this I feel truly blessed.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Life is a Journey #authorrachelkaplan #lifeisajourney #nevergiveup

I like writing stories. To be honest I never knew I wanted to write stories. I always had a great imagination, so I decided to write a book about my life growing up.  I was bullied all my life through school so I wanted to write my own story to help other people.  I wanted to let them know they are not alone. I know how it feels to be different.  So, I was really happy when my first book, “Growing Up With a Disability” got published.

What made me even happier is that I am a inspiration to a lot of people. That is the best feeling in the world.  I decided to keep writing books.  I never thought that I would have my books published. My big dream is to be a role model and make people feel happy about themselves. A lot of people thought I would never make it this far, but I did not listen to them. I knew if I kept working hard someone would listen.  So, never give up on your dreams.  You never know what will happen.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Inspirational Message #authorrachelkaplan #bekind #believe

The world we are living in is now very scary but it doesn’t have to be.  First of all climate change is happening.  It is effecting the weather and some animals are being effected,  mostly polar bears and penguins.  We can all help by learning what we can  do about climate change to make this world a safer place to live.

 Second is all the hatred, and especially the Holocaust.  This is very important to me. A lot of people do not think the Holocaust did  happened. We need to explain to other people it happened  and it should have never happened.  I believe it happened because of hate and fear of other people. We should  learn to not hate and fear other people. We should educate  people on this so we can make this world a happier place to live.

My  favorite quote from Ann Frank is “In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart”.  I still believe that.  What we all need to learn is to be kind to others  and not live in fear.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Believe in yourself #authorrachelkaplan #anythingispossible #believe

After I graduated high school in 2012 I knew I wanted to write books to help inspire kids and to bring the world happiness with my storytelling.  With “Growing up with a Disability” I had a great opportunity to be interviewed on Radio Disney which was really cool.  Meanwhile, Radio Disney invited me to the premiere for the Disney movie Wreck-it Ralph which was also super fun.  I got to do a book signing at Barnes and Noble.

I decided to keep writing so I wrote a second book, “The Adventures of Smokey”.  I got to do another book signing at Barnes and Noble. I also got a chance to meet Chris Colfer and give him a copy of my books.  I also got a chance to meet Lea Michele and Daren Criss and give them copies of my books. This was super exciting and cool.

I just finished writing, “Snowball’s  Winter Wonderland  Adventure”.  I got a special email from someone, too.  I cried because I never thought this person would email me and want copies of my books.  It was so incredible.  I really want to write more books and be an inspiration to a lot of people.

Never give up on your dreams.  You  never know what will happen.  There was so many times I wanted to give up on my books, but I knew someone would listen.  Anything is possible if you work really hard and never give up.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Life With Smokey #authorrachelkaplan #theadventuresofsmokey #rescue #bestfriend

Smokey is my rescue dog and star of the book I wrote, "The Adventures of Smokey". I had anxiety all my life.  I alway wanted a dog to keep me company and always be there for me whenever I needed him. So one day I decided to rescue a dog.  His name is Smokey.  He is my best friend in the whole world. Whenever I am having a bad day or my anxiety is bad he keeps me company and makes me feel happy.  When I do have anxiety I pick up Smokey or I sit down with him.  I watch a movie with him and I also play guitar. 

Having anxiety sometimes is really stressful.  I learned to accept having anxiety. I may not like having it but it is apart of me. Some people may or may not understand, and it is ok.  So, don't let having anxiety define who you are. I am so happy to have Smokey and play guitar and this has changed my life. 

I am now not ashamed I have anxiety. It is something I learned to live with.  It makes me unique and who I am today. So if you do have anxiety, do not let it define who you are.  It is just apart of you. And know you are not alone.




Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Wonders of Disney #authorrachelkaplan #disneylife #disneyforever #disneyland #myhappyplace

Ever since I could remember I always loved Disney.  I remember my first trip to Disneyland. I was 5 years old when I walked thru the gates to Disneyland.  It was as if I was in a fairytale.  I never wanted to leave. I grew up watching a lot of old disney movies.  I felt connected for some reason.  I felt like the characters would not judge me.  When I went to Disneyland for the first time I felt like I belonged and could be myself.  I still go to Disneyland.



Something about Disneyland is still full of magic and wonder.

 I have anxiety and for some odd reason my anxiety melts away when I see the characters and am riding the rides. Watching the parades is calming to me.  I guess it is because I can always be myself.  I really do not care anymore what other people think.

To me, Disney still has so much magic. Also, Disney movie helped me learn to talk and Disney books helped me learn to read.  I now have a great imagination and Disney books took me on many wonderful adventures.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Never Give Up #authorrachelkaplan #nevergiveup #beyourself

When I was born I had low muscle tone.  It was hard for me to walk and talk.  I had to go to physical therapy. I had to learn sign language.  Later in life I found out I had anxiety. Then I found out I had dyslexia. I did not learn how to read until High School. So, to learn letters and sounds I watched so many Disney movies and musicals.  I picked up letters and sounds from movies.  I was always picked on because I could not read.  In school I had to always pretend I could read because I did not want my classmates to know.

In High School I finally learned to read from my reading teacher who never gave up on me.  But, I was still getting picked on.  In my Junior year of High School I joined choir.   I felt happy because I felt like everyone else.  My last year of high school I decided to take choir, drama and film studies.   I loved film studies because I got to watch so many fun classics movies.  At the end of the year we had an award ceremony and I got an award for outstanding achievement.  I did not expect it at all.  I got a standing ovation from my whole class.

 I felt so happy and proud of myself.  I never gave up and that is the best feeling in the world. So thank you to all of my teachers for not giving up on me.  What I learned is to never give up and always be yourself .





Friday, March 22, 2019

Welcome to My Story #authorraschelkaplan #mystory #inspiration

This is my story.  I was bullied all my life.  In High School and I decided to do something about it.  I decided to write my first book, "Growing up with a Disability".  I wrote this book about what it was like to grow up having a disability.  I wanted to tell my own story and how I felt.  One day I finally found out it got published.  I was so happy because I wanted to share my story with the world and let people know that it is not ok to bully and that you are not alone.  I then decided to write a second book, "The Adventures of Smokey". This story is about friendship and a special bond you share with a dog and how important it is to rescue a dog.  I rescued Smokey and it is the greatest thing I ever did.  Not only is he my dog, but he is my best friend, too.  The third book I wrote is "Snowball 's Winter Wonderland Adventure".  This book is about climate change and how it is effecting our Earth and that we need to make a change.  It is also about friendship and working together.

 I love writing and I'm going to keep on writing. I want to be an inspiration to you and to other people.  I never thought my books would be published and I had to wait a long time.  I never gave up!  

Anything is possible, even the impossible.