How to Approach Someone with a Disability 101

How to Approach Someone with a Disability 101

I have an immediate distrust for people who either say they loved pregnancy or middle school. As for the latter, tweens/teens that age are constantly comparing and contrasting themselves to those around them.

Am I better looking or less popular than him? Are my shoes cuter or uglier?  The daily calculating, measuring and assigning worth to people must be exhausting. As we mature, we ascertain that someone else’s innate worth is unchangeable and the same as our own.

How to Approach Someone with a Disability 101

But then and there, the measuring happens. The hormones and emotions rage and we, as parents, are sometimes left on the sidelines, sometimes rocking in the corner with them and oftentimes, we cheer them on when they decide to be brave, kind and shockingly comfortable in being different.

You can read previous posts here and here regarding my thoughts on those acne and angst-prone years but I can’t image navigating those years while also being unable to talk and walk correctly. Standing out and being unique is typically frowned upon so when you arrive in a new school with almost 800 students (50-ish who know you) and you are obviously different, you gotta take the offense.

How to Approach Someone with a Disability 101

At the suggestion of a speech therapist on our team with the encouragement of amazing administrators, we found a friend of a friend to agree to create this introductory video for our daughter.

Now, as an aside: you’ve perhaps noticed that I never mention my children’s names or show their pictures on this website. This is my conscious choice and delineation of my life and my story vs. their life and their story. I am incredibly conscious of the fact that my view of them, our family and motherhood is solely my own. They could view me completely different and their narrative of our family could have a completely opposite tone. And that’s fine.

So, I don’t tell their stories and hijack their life, but I do share my thoughts and feelings on raising them. This is not to say that others who are quite open with sharing their children’s names and photos are doing it wrong. They’re just doing it differently and I respect that.

With that, here is an exception to my rule. I share it with you in the hope that it is helpful, instructive and engaging for all who interact with people with disabilities. We don’t speak for all people who utilize wheelchairs and speech devices but these are our thoughts. I hope you enjoy! Feel free to share and comment!

Postscript: Thanks for being patient with me as I adjusted to being home from our long trip. Photos and stats. from that trip were posted on TPIL’s FB page: I also recently started a new job where I teach children across the world in the wee hours of the morning, so I’m balancing that with writing and hopefully I will get my groove back very soon. As always, it’s a joy to have so many of you care what is on my heart and mind. I’m glad you’re here!

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