Friday, June 18, 2010

Misconceptions about Disabled People

Since this blog is also about my life as a disabled person, I thought I would clear up some common things people seem to think about people who aren't "normal". If you've been a reader for awhile, you already know my thoughts on that.
  • We have feelings. Mean comments add nothing of value to the world, so why spew hatred? Sometimes I think the people that are mean are doing it to feel in control of at least one area in their lives. I was always taught to treat others like I want to be treated, but that seems to be a lost art these days.

  • We have goals. I'm not going to let life pass me by. I just have to do things a little bit differently. Whether you realize it or not, we all have a 'disability'. For example, your bad attitude can hinder things just as much as a limp can.

  • We are not stupid. Most of us can hear everything you're saying. I do not appreciate someone judging me before they get to know me. Don't try to make things harder for us just to get a good laugh. How would you like it if someone slammed the door in your face? Oh yeah, that's right. You wouldn't.

  • We have friends. If the truth be told, it is sometimes easier to make friends because we don't have anything to hide. We are who we are and don't apologize for it. Sometimes, people don't know how to approach us, but they learn with time. Having a friend is an adventure. We don't always see eye to eye with our friends, but we do have a mutual respect for one another.

  • Wheelchairs and other medical devices aren't weird. You can touch them. All we ask is that you be careful. They are not toys to be flipped in every direction.

  • I can't speak for everyone when I say this, but I would rather you ask questions. I would rather someone be made aware of the truth about my situation that be misinformed with lies. Lies create doubt and fear, and I don't want people afraid to ask questions. I won't bite. :) I will be honest, but I won't bite.

  • Contrary to popular opinion, there are things we can do. Not every person in a wheelchair is paralyzed just like not every person with hair loss has cancer.

  • My friend, BK, thought of a great one that I forgot about. She said that people assume everyone with disabilities is the same, especially the ones with the same disability. What most people don't understand is there are different categories of a disability. For example, cerebral palsy is typed by the severity of the brain bleed, which ranges from 1-4. A person with a grade 1 brain bleed has much milder symptoms than someone with a grade 4. A grade 4 bleed means the person will most likely be wheelchair bound for life, have trouble swallowing and talking, etc. It can also be broken down into types based on muscle tone.
I need a little help from my friends. Yes, even the lurkers. What are some other common misconceptions about disabled people that you've noticed?


BK said...

I think one is that everyone with disabilities are the same especially if they have the same disability. Would you agree with that?

writing4612 said...

That's true. I'll add it to the list!

Meg said...

I'll have to think on this one. I love the one about everyone has a disability-including bad attitudes!

Kylee said...

So true! Everyone has feelings, dreams, and goals in life. Just because you are "not the norm" whether that be a young mother (like me) or a young person with a disability (like you) doesn't make us any less of a person, and we can get through life just as well-if not better-than a "normal" person. Thank you so much for sharing this.

Oh and P.S. Those buttons on my About Me thingy are from Facebook. IDK if you have one, but they are under the Pieces of Flair Application. I just copied and pasted them into my blog post. Lol

The Blonde Duck said...

I never knew there were so many stereotypes about disabled people! Do people ever try to help you too much, like just totally go overboard and treat you like a baby?