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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.