Embracing disability

CarolStarred Page By Carol, 3rd Jul 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1e_cyetc/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Personal Development>Quality of Life

It's now 2013, and disability is no longer hidden away as an embarrassment. People with disabilities have their own contribution to give in life, with our help and encouragement. Read on to find out more

Embracing Disability

Back in the 1940s somebody that I knew of gave birth to a boy who was severely disabled both mentally and physically. I am not sure if his disabilities were caused by birth complications, or he was born with them, nobody bothered to investigate, as in those days it was felt that nothing could be done to improve the quality of his life.

The family doctor advised his mother that placing him in a home was the best option, as she would find it really difficult to cope with him. She was distraught, her husband was "ashamed" of his new son, her friends ignored him in the pram as though he didn't exist, and she felt like an outcast from society.

So she put him in a home, and luckily for her, she went on to have a healthy boy and a girl, who were both very bright, and her husband was able to forget he ever had another son. However the mother, because she had carried her baby and given birth to him could not fully sever the ties, so every Sunday she visited him at the home, where the poor little fellow lived, and he was left in bed,and he lay there unable to speak, and as he had no stimulation, there was no way of knowing if he could ever be mobile.

She visited her son for 20 years until he passed away, but during that time, not one member of her family ever asked how he was, he was ignored as if he didn't exist, and she had no-one to share her grief with. She was made to feel so guilty because she hadn't had a perfect child, and eventually she had a nervous breakdown because all the feelings inside her were too much to bear.

Moving on to the 1970s

My son Phil was born in 1971, and there was still stigma attached to anyone with a disability. Unlike that woman, I had the love and support of my family, as did Phil, together we all battled through, never once feeling ashamed of him, always celebrating his strong will to live, and the special person that he is.

Having Phil made me more aware of other children with special needs. I am as guilty as anyone else for taking my health and strength for granted, but some people, through no fault of their own are born unlucky, they didn't ask to be like that, and it's up to us all to understand their needs and try to help them,

I started writing because of Phil. I became the voice for him , as to try and understand anyone with autism is not easy, and what is just frustration with them because the messages to the brain are confused is often misinterpreted as bad behaviour.

Experts were just beginning to recognise autism, and realise that autistic children can achieve as much as " normal" children if they are taught in a unique way, and some of them go onto University and do very well there.

Although this is not true in Phil's case, because he has other challenges, what we did notice was how well he came on with the stimulation of his brother and sisters. When his one year old sister took her first steps, so did Phil, when she became potty trained so did Phil,to me these were huge milestones for a child who was feared would never even live beyond 5 years.

I wrote many articles about our experiences as well as my book, some were even printed in the National Press. I was campaigning to get autistic children into "normal " schools, as being with their peers is the encouragement they need, and it's also good for other children to accept that there are some others in life who need their help and understanding.

Look what has been achieved in 2013

And now we have reached at 2013, disabled people finally have the recognition they deserve. We now see on CBeebies, children with downs syndrome having fun with their friends. One of the lady presenters has only one arm, and there is also another lady in a wheelchair. I applaud this, children will accept that not everyone is the same, but it does not make them any less a person. In fact people with disabilities have challenges to overcome , and are often stronger and more determined than the rest of us.

Recently Emmerdale did a story about a downs syndrome child, and whether his mother should abort him or not. She chose to keep him, and when you see this bonny little boy with a cute little face and a merry smile, it does your heart good. These children are sunny and loving, and can bring a lot of joy into people's lives.

When programmes like Children in Need and Comic relief were put on TV, it showed us just how tough life is for others , who are worse off than ourselves It heightened awareness of suffering and poverty as well as disabliities.

Only this week I heard of a girl with cerebral palsy, such a brave young lady, she has sailed from England to France using her mouth to navigate. What extraordinary courage she has, and when I saw her proud parents on the news, I just couldn't stop my tears from flowing.

I believe that people with disabilities have always had something to offer, it's us as a society that needed to be educated, and now the experts are giving them their platform to reveal their skills. There are many more people than I have mentioned here who overcome terrible difficulties and achieve so much.

Everyone of us is unique, we all have a contribution to give, some people are born with great intelligence, others with sporting abilities, and many others are artistic, the list goes on . But maybe the most important quality to be born with is the ability to love, I truly believe that love conquers all.

I am so pleased that we now embrace disability, I am sure there is more work to be done, but we are getting there. Let's not have any child and mother suffering the way that boy did in the first part of this article, because sadly, it is a true story.

Thankyou everyone for reading my thoughts. xxx

My Beautiful son
celebrating Phil's birthday
for more of my work click here
to join me on Wikinut click here

Tags

Autistic, Cerebral Palsy, Challenged, Courage, Determination, Disability, Downs Syndrome, Embracing, Special, Unique

Meet the author

author avatar Carol
I am a proud mother and grandmother, and an author. I have had 7 books published. My hobbies are walking, swimming, and playing badminton. I try to raise more awareness of autism with my writing.

Share this page

moderator Mark Gordon Brown moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know

Comments

author avatar cnwriter..carolina
4th Jul 2013 (#)

lovely...thank you Carol for this..blessing to you and your family...

Reply to this comment

author avatar cnwriter..carolina
4th Jul 2013 (#)

oh there is something else...my teacher says that many people who have disabilities have seen something so very special on a higher level that it has changed them mentally and physically...so perhaps those who are 'disabled' ave seen more that many of us ave...

Reply to this comment

author avatar Carol
4th Jul 2013 (#)

Thanks for reading Carolina, I believe they are special people too.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Penny W-T
4th Jul 2013 (#)

I worked for many years at a school for 'special' children as an educational consultant. Their departments included one for autistically skilled children and I never cease to be amazed at the wonderful achievements this school has had over the years. More than anything, we had FUN.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Carol
4th Jul 2013 (#)

Thankyou Penny, you have just hit the nail on the head, a sense of humour is essential when dealing with these children and having fun is a great way to interact.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Connie McKinney
4th Jul 2013 (#)

I work with people with disabilities in my day job, and I love it. They teach us so many lessons about patience, determination, not taking life for granted and never giving up. You captured these issues so well, Carol. Please keep up the good work. Please give Phil a hug from me and all his Wikinut friends.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Carol
4th Jul 2013 (#)

You are doing a very worthwhile job Connie, I applaud you! Thanks for reading

Reply to this comment

author avatar Delicia Powers
4th Jul 2013 (#)

Carol what a very awesome article... your voice Carol, indeed your
warmth and love of family and life itself is in every line...you inspire us all...thank you Carol

Reply to this comment

author avatar Carol
4th Jul 2013 (#)

Bless you Delcia for reading.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Stella Mitchell
4th Jul 2013 (#)

I can only agree with all my fellow writers here dear Carol . Your love and warmth shine through your life and your writings .
May God bless you and your lovely family always .
Stella ><

Reply to this comment

author avatar Carol
4th Jul 2013 (#)

Thanks so much Stella

Reply to this comment

author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
5th Jul 2013 (#)

Your feelings and thoughts resonates within me Carol. We should never deviate from being an inclusive society. I am always inspired by Stephen Hawking whose determination to live and contribute to science is phenomenal. We should admire those who fight against odds when many who are born normal cannot stop complaining and blaming others - siva

Reply to this comment

author avatar Carol
5th Jul 2013 (#)

Yes, Steven is another very brave person. Thanks for reading Siva

Reply to this comment

author avatar Mariah
5th Jul 2013 (#)

How cruel for the mother and child you write about Carol, it's inhumane to think that human beings, especially those who are family, could have been so heartlessly dissociated with a disabled child and isolated the mother.
Thank God things have improved greatly in society.
Phil has been such a blessing to your family, he looks happy in his photos, that's of course the results of the love and care he has known from you all.
Big hug to you and Phil
Mariahx

Reply to this comment

author avatar Carol
5th Jul 2013 (#)

Bless you Mariah, and thanks for the hug. Life nis cruel for some, sadly

Reply to this comment

author avatar Trillionaire
5th Jul 2013 (#)

Yes, an awesome article.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Carol
6th Jul 2013 (#)

Thanks for reading Trillionaire

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Username
Can't login?
Password