Attitudes & disability

Although I was never considered a child with special needs, I was a special needs’ child, just like any other child dealing with a disability. Whether we’re a child or an adult, when it comes to a disability, we’re somehow expected to fall into line, and our struggles met with resentment from those close to us.

The reality for some of us is that where others should be emotionally supporting us, we often have to be our own emotional support. Attitude is important for those of us who deal with a disability and attitude starts at home with our parents and family.

If society is going to permanently change attitudes towards disability, it is initially up to parents to instil inclusivity and kindness in their children.

My suggestions for disability inclusiveness are as follows:

  • Don’t see anyone with a disability as a problem, or someone that needs to be fixed;
  • Not all people with disabilities present in the same way, so it’s important to understand each disability separately and how each person presents;
  • Compassion, patience and kindness are important. They go a long way towards communicating and understanding what someone with a disability deals with.

Those of us who deal with a mild disability may struggle even more, than those with an obvious disability, because our shortcomings aren’t always apparent to others, and we’re still expected to conform. Being around someone who deals with a disability can teach us about ourselves, but we must be prepared to look for the understanding.

If attitudes changed towards disability and people were generally more positive towards those dealing with one, there would be less of a stigma towards disability, and disabled people would fit into their lives more comfortably.

What has happened to empathy, tolerance, and understanding? Because that is all it would take. If the shoe were on the other foot, others would expect nothing less from us.

14 Feb, 2018

4 thoughts on “Attitudes & disability

  1. For me your final paragraph says it all. We should we all exhibit compassion, tolerance and understanding to one another, especially to those less fortunate than ourselves.

    Surely these are the fundamentals of human relationships. Sadly we live in dark times, where we tend just to look after ourselves, usually to the detriment of others.

    1. It saddens me that I even felt compelled to write this blog and agree with you that we should all ‘exhibit compassion, tolerance and understanding,’ particularly around those who deal with a disability.

      Through stress and stressful situations, we tend to also turn on each other instead of us being a support. For those of us who deal with a disability it’s much harder on both counts.

      As I watch the UK news there is yet another problem being highlighted around disability; it’s not me getting this wrong. It’s so sad that in today’s society, attitudes around disability aren’t much improved.

  2. We cannot expect the walking dead to be mindful, compassionate or caring. Yet we do because civility runs through our veins, instead of ice water.

    But we’re not the ones suffering with self-righteousness, they are. Good luck with that.

    1. Thanks Tim. Yes, you’ve summed up your response beautifully. It’s sad those others just don’t get it, or want to change to make themselves better, or other people’s lives better.

      I don’t always like to refer to myself, but given my own background I could have fallen into the category you describe.

      ‘Being mindful’ is the way we can turn our lives around.

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