“You likely won’t read this, but perhaps others like you will. Consider:
• My child may have visible differences. He may sound different than your child, and he may learn in different ways. But at heart he is still a kid. Just like yours he likes to laugh, play, love. He’s not as different as you might think.
• Think about the messages you will send to your child if you continue to stare-glare at children with disabilities. Maybe acceptance doesn’t matter to you, but you will be raising one narrow-minded kid. It will limit his experiences in this world.
• My child may not notice your stares now, but someday, he might. And that will make them even more cruel. Kids with disabilities have a hard time feeling included—how much more so if people look at them as if they are aliens.
• My kid has been through a lot in his young life. When he walks down a street, he is defying the doctors at the NICU who said he might not walk and who weren’t sure he would live. He has incredible strength. Adults who shoot him nasty looks are weak.
• No matter what: He is just a child. He deserves to walk down the street with whatever gait he has and not incur a stare-glare. He deserves respect.”
– Ellen Seidman, A note to the mom who stared at my child
It’s 12 : 21 PM on day 1345 of my journey towards independence and I’ve managed to brush my teeth, pray, read Psalm 32, feed myself bran flakes, boiled egg and a banana for breakfast, publish my Disability of the Day feature, practice sitting up straight to strengthen my core muscles, stretch my hamstrings and promote my Eradicate AIDS campaign – still on $802.85 (sigh).
Yesterday I read A note to the mom who stared at my child – an open letter that Ellen Seidman wrote to a woman who stared at her son Max who has Cerebral Palsy – I could relate to this post like Max for the first few years of my life I was blissfully unaware of the rude stares that people were giving me but as time went on I started to notice the stares and at first I felt like a freak when people stared at me but now I just chalk the stares up to curiosity or ignorance and choose not to let it affect the way I feel about myself.