Why are so many of us who deal with something treated differently? It’s not just Cerebral Palsy of course, but what about Asperger’s, Autism and Dyslexia. It’s any condition that shows us in a different light that makes how we see and understand the world differently that others find difficult to accept.
Perhaps it’s because others don’t have the imagination to know what it’s like being in our shoes, despite what they tell us. They think they know and because they think they know, they don’t take the time to get to know. As a general rule, we identify with people who are similar, show the same traits, are part of the same culture and who share the same perceptions. Disability isn’t a meal ticket to all those things.
Sadly, it is our learned behaviour from childhood that overrides our natural one. Not accepting anyone who is different is only one example of this, but once we begin to work from outside the box, we will begin to understand other people in the way they should be understood. We’re people first, disability second.
Experiences show we’re already marked before we have a chance to show our worth, what we’re all about in front of the disability. Perhaps those of us like me who are different, need to look at this issue differently so that we don’t emotionally pick holes in ourselves.
The irony is that we’re all different anyway. But for us, we must learn to love and accept ourselves as we are. The problem is not with us, but with those who treat us differently. Society has a way to go on this, but we desperately need that change.