This is a thought that popped into my head lately. And it comes from a friend sent some time ago when we where discussing their disability.

But your disabled, you know what it’s like, you understand…

child_manual_w_chair Yes, this is true, I am disabled. The fact is I am visually disabled… I am sorry if even I a self-proclaimed advocate for disabled children do not understand what it is like.

I do not understand what it is like not to be able to hear, I do not understand what it is like not being able to see, being totally blind (remember I can see fairly well as legally blind people go).

I understand what it is like to not be able to see across the street, but not what it must be like to sit in a wheelchair and worry about steps and ramps. I don’t know what it’s like not to be able to hold a pencil to write my name, or be the child that understands every thing that is going on around them, but not be able to speak. I don’t know what it is like to need some one to help me get dressed or use the bathroom.

However there are things I do know. I DO know what it’s like to be stared at, even if I can’t see who is doing the staring, trust me, I can feel you. I DO know what it’s like to be laughed at or pointed at… asked questions, how, when, why… can it be fixed… I DO know what it’s like in school, to be left out or left behind and the last one picked… and needing some one else to take you where you need to go.

I don’t know what it’s like to have a child or be the child that has already spent half their life in a hospital, or making countless trips to therapy sessions… or be the child that has their life scheduled around therapy rather then a Little League game.

So, please… forgive me if I am the one doing the staring or asking the questions… I’m only human… You probably have some questions of your own for me, so be polite, ask… we’ll talk … and then get on being friends.

How is therapy going?
Can I have a ride in your wheelchair?
Yes, you can check out my white cane, just don’t use it like a sword!

I understand what it’s like to be disabled like me… not what it’s like to be disabled like you

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