Anyone who deals with brain damage, deals with a rewired brain. That means the information getting to the brain is slower and confused, as is our ability to process that information and to function. It’s the whole disability package.
Unfortunately, not many people go on to remember that when they’re talking to us, we will struggle to keep up. Because I deal with Cerebral Palsy, I know what it’s like to live with something that makes me different. I understand what it feels like to live with brain impairment.
Because my Cerebral Palsy is mild I am penalised further, because everything seems normal to other people. When we don’t live with and deal with a brain impairment, we consciously ignore what it’s like for others who deal with an impairment. Perhaps that’s something we must work on.
I am sure if we did, there would be less prejudice around disability and for those of us with the disability, we’d feel we fitted in a little more. If the shoe were on the other foot, we wouldn’t want other people to forget about what we struggle with. Any impairment is difficult. Perhaps we need to carry those thoughts with us, so that we learn to anticipate others’ struggles better.
It’s an attitude and perception thing, which we can all change at any time. We must consciously think about our reactions to other people, particularly to people who deal with disabilities, because our reactions matter and count to their wellbeing. We must listen so that we can help others.