Perhaps I should start off with a reminder that things are not as bad as they seem for people with disabilities as they really are. What do I mean?
Take Karen for example. Karen is wheelchair-bound, has cerebral palsy and multiple other conditions. She doesn’t want to finish school because she can’t use her hands and is embarrassed by her movements. She’s assisted by an augmentative communication device and tracks words with her eyes. Karen also has a lot of trouble eating and is on a feeding tube. She also isn’t as worldly as other kids her age are. She just wants to sit home and watch television.
Now take me. I never had a feeding tube. I’m graduating St. Thomas Acquinas College in December and trying to go back for my paralegal certificate. I can walk and talk somewhat and I have some hand usage. Should I feel like I can’t do anything? You know, I once thought that I was the only one on Earth that couldn’t talk. That is, until I started to meet more and more people. Another thing is that I used to see myself as having severe cerebral palsy. Today, I see my cerebral palsy as mild to moderate. I had to train myself not to feel like I can’t take care of myself. I guess the mind-set to have when it comes to any disability is that you’re not dealing with it alone. There’s always someone worse than you.
When I was younger, I had a friend that felt bad for himself for his condition. He was always moaning. His mother wouldn’t encourage him to overcome his problems. From that quick story, it can be concluded that a parent’s attitude can change how a child with a disability views him or herself. And that’s the key. Growing up, my family would always encourage me never give up, try new things and don’t let people put you down. If everybody followed that rhetoric, they would make a lot of progress.