What it's Like to Look Different
Corey Taylor was born with a severe facial deformity. His parents and the schools he attended helped him to feel included and headed off bullying with some simple strategies. Corey shares what it was like growing up looking different than everyone else.
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Corey was born with a severe facial deformity. When he was born he had no nose, just nostrils.
His left side was severely underdeveloped, including his eye that just showed red matter and an underdeveloped eye.
Corey had over 50 surgeries throughout his childhood.
Corey had a very supportive family. They drove him to appointments, stood up for him and helped him.
Before Corey started school, they showed a video of him at home to show the kids that he was like everyone else. That went a long way.
People would greet him by name.
They did this in elementary school, middle school and high school. If anyone ever gave him an issue, the entire school had his back.
As he got older, he suffered with depression.
The biggest struggles were the medical issues.
Advocating for Corey
At age 3, the doctors told her that he was blind and deaf, and his mother insisted that he was wrong. She proved to the doctors that he could see and hear.
His mother was an advocate for Corey. She understood when he was in pain and she advocated for him with his doctors.
At one point, they took the skin off his nose so it could air out. Corey didn’t want to leave the house after that; he felt like a monster. He didn’t know how to handle the way he looked.
The educators never treated him different.
When you look different, it’s easy for people to treat you different.
Corey always knew that the staff would back him up. If he reported bullying, they took it seriously.
Corey believes in following your dream no matter what, and not letting obstacles hold you back.
What Parents and Educators can do
As parents and educators, he says, treat children who look different like you would anyone else.
Discipline them when needed.
But also, pull them aside and let them know that they can come to you with problems.