“Best Self” Introduces Us to Gerome

See Gerome, Not His Disabilities

Gerome is a 16-year-old young man who balances school, a job, and dreams for the future. He is personable and charismatic, and he helps his parents run their Belgian waffle restaurant. The fact that he is disabled does not limit the contributions that he already makes. Given his strong support network of family and friends, it likely will not shape his achievements.

Suzi Montgomery, Media Arts Education Director of the Utah Film Center, in Salt Lake City, tells Gerome’s story in a short documentary called “Best Self.” Along with a group of students at a Montessori school, Suzi created a film that promotes inclusion and features a blend of typical kids and kids with disabilities. She hoped to show “that people with disabilities should be more integrated into our society because they bring something too, to the table, and can be functional and delightful contributors.”

Disabled People Contribute to Society

I was lucky enough to be given an opportunity to preview the segment of “Best Self” that features Gerome. He has the innocence and promise of any young person who is being raised in a nurturing environment where there is unconditional love.

Society needs more of what Gerome and other young adults with disabilities can offer. “Best Self” is a respite from the highly partisan conversations we hear daily. I think we can personally gain enormously from witnessing the inclusion of disabled people into mainstream society.

Invisible Disabilities

Disabilities includes more than mental disabilities. They can occur in all age groups. Sometimes, they can be invisible. Disabilities you can’t see may be the most alienating of all. I hear about how devastated people with disabilities often feel, because many people in pain have invisible physical disabilities.

But, probably more importantly and a bit ironically, we can learn from those who are disabled that simple things can be rewarding. We are also reminded about how to give love unreservedly, because that is what we receive in return from many people with disabilities.

Thank you, Suzi, for giving me a glimpse of your work. I hope “Best Self” will soon be available for viewers nationally.



  1. Alexander Ryncarz PhD on April 7, 2019 at 7:53 am

    I was a highly successful clinical molecular pathologist. Highly published.
    I have been deserted by the medical system. Have no addiction issues, rarely drink and have never smoked.
    I want to be a productive member of society.
    Please help.

  2. Connie Martin on April 7, 2019 at 9:08 pm

    One cannot simply pass by your posting and not respond Alexander – or at least I couldn’t. You sound like you have been deserted by perhaps more than the medical community. Your pleas for help have not gone unnoticed. Unfortunately, your posting was not detailed enough in order to convey the specific issues you are having, or what you need assistance with, but, if you feel that you can share a bit more, perhaps there are people here who can help in some way. Someone might be able to steer you toward appropriate resources in your area, or just lend an ear to what is at the heart of the problems you’re having.
    Hang in there…

  3. Jeff on April 29, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    Alexander, I feel your pain. Having once been highly successful in my Industry, I too have felt literally abandoned. I’ve had multiple sugeries to re-construct my rt. Shoulder, chest muscles and neck, and they now want to replace my “good” left shoulder!
    Dealing with chronic pain, and “invisible” disability has alienated even some pretty close friends. Dr. Webster and other professionals share our pain and offer good info and even better, Understanding! (dare I say empathy)?
    I pray for you, here & now, today, that answers come your way!

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