When I was first told my baby would never walk I felt as though the information was just too alien for me to actually comprehend and was really struggling to figure out what that meant for his future. I began to question what caused this mind block that I just couldn’t shake off and thought maybe I simply wasn’t a strong enough person for the challenge I was facing. All I could see awaiting my child was a life full of limitations and restrictions. My mind was like an overactive piece of machinery, that I wanted to desperately switch off.
I soon realised that I was very ignorant when it came down to anything related to special needs, and in reality I was just projecting all of my own personal fears onto this poor baby’s life before he has even had a chance to give it a shot himself. To be honest the ignorance still lingers around me until now, but I’ve changed my approach and rather than me trying to teach him how to live he’s teaching me the real way of living. He is 14 months old now and has been whizzing in his custom made wheelchair since 11 months not to mention one of the youngest in the country to do so. Getting my head straight from early on and adjusting my approach relayed such a positive outcome on our family and made me realise how much of an effect society’s perception of disability can really suppress people’s true potential. People make comments all the time without even knowing the impact that they may have. I am going to share with you some comments that I was so fortunate enough to have the pleasure of hearing. Can you detect the sarcasm there?
Didn’t you know about his disability before he was born? I suppose you were too attached by then.
Erm, too attached to do what? If someone would have acted differently having been in my shoes that’s their choice and they are entitled to it. However to present such an opinion as if it is the expected thing to do in this situation and then pardon me for my choice is quite something. Personally I couldn’t bring myself to structuring a sentence in that way in my mind then actually letting it out of my mouth to land on someone who clearly has already decided to keep their baby.
I just can’t face seeing your child, it’s too emotional for me.
Since when was visiting a friend who just had a baby all about YOU? And wouldn’t it make even more sense to visit if you knew that friend was going to need additional support. I would love to know how you could possibly delude yourself into thinking that ‘can’t face seeing your child’ is such a valid reason that it deserves to be said out loud. This comment screams- self-centred individual.
I think by making this disability thing a huge deal you’ll make it harder on yourself.
Firstly, assumptions should never be incorporated with giving advice. When someone said this to me it was clear that they had heard one snip of something from someone somewhere and came to the assumption that I was ‘making this disability thing a big deal’. It would have been wiser to simply ask: “how do you feel?”.