Disabling Your Child’s Chances Of Understanding

| ON, Canada | Friendly | January 24, 2016

(My husband and I have had an awful year. Prior to this happening, he almost died from life-threatening complications and had to have surgery that would save his life, but rendered him paralyzed from the waist down. Since he was already legally blind and had a heart condition on top of this, this was a huge blow to his independence, something he always prided himself on. We’re also quite young, in our twenties, so people assume he’s my patient and I’m a support worker and not husband and wife. On this day, I’ve had to wheel him to our post office so he can sign for an important parcel, since the post office won’t let me do it for him. We pass by a mother and her young daughter on our way in. They move to let us by.)

Me: “Thank you!”

Husband: “Thank you very much!”

Daughter: *once our backs are turned* “Mommy, why is that boy in a wheelchair?”

Mother: *unsure of what to say* “Because… because he wants to be!”

(I turned to give her a dirty look, but she and her daughter were already on their way, rather hastily. I wish they would have waited around because I would have loved to tell them no one, no matter what age or circumstance or even how used to it they are, ‘wants’ to be in a wheelchair. I just hope she doesn’t offend another disabled person with that kind of comment again.)

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