Families, stigma & disability

Unfortunately, there still seems to be a stigma behind disability, so families won’t always know how to behave or deal with their child or sibling’s disability.

I think another reason why families, don’t always know how to deal with a disability is because they’re simply not equipped to know how to help or deal with their child with the disability. Siblings aren’t sure either.

Families are often embarrassed by what they deal with, so instead of learning to embrace their child’s disability, they shy away from it instead. Sadly, society still doesn’t make things easy because it’s still less accepting of disability. We’re not moving forward quick enough.

In my own case, I believe my father not wanting to know, was a culmination of embarrassment and not being able to cope with the fact that his child was born with a disability. It tends to come through our insecurities and although parents are often well intentioned and my parents were underneath, our ability to cope decreases, once reality sets in and the task in hand becomes too great.

However, and it is still my view that the more society is accepting of people who deal with disabilities, the more families will learn to be accepting, the less they will need to deal with the stigma.


6 Jun, 2015

4 thoughts on “Families, stigma & disability

  1. I have always felt that my family was ashamed of my disability. If I mention it to them now, they would deny it, but I don’t want to dwell any more on that. I can’t change the past and cannot control how they view my disability today.

    When I go out there’s always one or more people that are curious of my disability and stare at me or ask a peculiar question. It used to bother me more when it happened. I try not to get bothered by this and force myself to go out, hoping that people will get used to seeing people with disabilities out and about.

    1. Thanks Maria. Perhaps it’s the stigma that makes us ashamed. It would be nice to think people will eventually behave and respond differently around disability.

      I know how you feel.

  2. I love this!! As an infant and young child my physical issues/disability was on the front lines of my parents’ focus that my sisters were unintentionally neglected. Maybe that’s their problem with me, and they don’t know it.

    1. Thanks Bonnie. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. Those are my experiences too. A primary focus for any parent dealing with a child with a disability will always be that child.

      It’s not as either the child or parent would have intended, but unless parents talk about and try to include other children that allows them to also understand the process the family has to go through, that child’s siblings will always feel neglected; that’s down to the parenting unfortunately.

      There is no easy way to deal with a child with a disability, but as long as there is empathy, compassion and understanding by the parents and other siblings, all family members can work together inclusively.

      Although there is no precedent on how to manage a disability, the child with the disability didn’t ask to be born with the disability and is thrown into the limelight for all the wrong reasons. It’s easy to see both sides. Perhaps there needs to be more help around siblings, not just the parents and the child with the disability.

      There is now, but there wasn’t much help back then. Disability was brushed under the carpet back then.

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