I come back to disability yet again. I received a response on my website the other day from someone who also deals with Cerebral Palsy and who struggled with her family criticising her shortcomings.
Although I was never considered a child with special needs, I was still a child with special needs like any other child dealing with a disability, just different needs. Sadly, whether we’re the child or the adult with a mild disability, we’re expected to fall into line and where we may struggle that can sometimes be met with resentment from those close to us.
The reality is that where others should be emotionally supporting us, we’re having to be our own emotional support. Attitude is massively important around those of us who deal with a disability. But attitude starts at home with the parents. Parents must explain and instill inclusivity and kindness in their children if society is going to permanently change their attitudes towards disability and other genres.
Those of us with a mild disability struggle more because our shortcomings aren’t always apparent and therefore we’re expected to conform.
From my experiences, my suggestions below are as follows:
- Don’t see anyone with a disability as the problem, or someone that needs to be fixed just because you’re struggling to understand their disability and how they present;
- Not all people with disabilities present in the same way. It’s important we understand each disability separately and how each person presents;
- Compassion, patience, kindness and understanding go a long way to communicating and understanding what someone with a disability deals with and needs to happen.
Being around someone with a disability can teach us about ourselves, but we must look for the understanding. There would be no stigma in society and disabled people would fit into their lives comfortably if attitudes towards them were to change.
But what has happened to compassion, empathy tolerance, patience and understanding because that’s all it would take? If the shoe were on the other foot others would expect nothing less from us.