Let’s Normalize Disabilities

Over the last 22 years of being a special needs mom, I have met so many wonderful people with disabilities. I have learned from them and they hold a special place in my heart.

Many people don’t get the opportunity to meet these “special people“, or get to know them. I wonder, if I would have ever gotten the chance to know them, if I didn’t have a special needs child.

The other day, while shopping, I noticed an elderly man just standing in the middle of the isle. I looked over and saw Ciara next to me in her wheelchair. He had plenty of room to pass her but instead he stood there, baffled at what to do. I ushered Ciara to move, and she preceded to move as close as she could to the other side of the aisle, he then proceeded to say “thank you” and walked pass her.

I got a little irritated, that first of all, he didn’t just say “excuse me” or just simply walk pass her. Instead, he chose to just stand there until she moved.

I’ve thought about it, and maybe he just didn’t know how to handle that situation because he had never encountered someone with a disability.

Back in the older days, people with disabilities were hidden away or institutionalize, as if they didn’t exist.

Today, we know so much more about disabilities and we know their lives are worth so much more, but we still have to teach the world how to love and accept them.

I take Ciara everywhere, and have always taught her to never let her disability stop her from living a full life, but I have to admit, there are days when “people” get on my last nerve.

There are certain people that have no patience, and can be very rude at grocery stores or shopping centers. They tend to act like we are burdening them by having a wheelchair in their way. I usually apologize and move Ciara out of their way. But why must we cater to them? Ciara has the right to shop and exist without their permission.

We, as caregivers, have to stand up and show this world our loved ones have just as many rights as anyone and have so much to give to this world.

The staring use to bother me but I have come to a realization. People stare at everything, whether it’s a person with a disability or someone with a big butt. People will be people and not all staring is a bad thing.

If a beautiful lady was being stared at, she would chalk it up to her beauty being admired. Not all staring is about being different, sometimes people are just curious or are in admiration.

We need the world to see our “special” human beings and let them see all the amazing things they can do, instead of hiding them away from the world out of fear of not being accepted.

Let’s normalize people with disabilities, encourage others to know your loved one, teach them, and be patient.

Get them out into the world, take them places you normally wouldn’t go, and let’s show the world how they deserve to be treated.

If you don’t know anybody with a disability, I encourage you to get to know them, you won’t regret it!

Children and adults with disabilities should not be hidden from the world, let’s show everybody what they can do!

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