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Life with a Child in a Wheelchair

April 28, 2014
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If you have a child with a disability, it can be a challenge to raise him or her safely. One of the greatest difficulties parents face is the insensitive nature of questions and comments they face when out in public. Sometimes, people are too afraid to interact with you and your children; other times they can be outright rude. Both situations cause concern for you as a parent.

While it will not really take away the stress, knowing what you would be dealing with can help you stay calm in face of distasteful remarks and situations. As a parent with a child in wheelchair, here are some things you might often experience:

Disability Tax Credit and the Wheelchair Myth Life with a Child in a Wheelchair

1. “What is the Life Expectancy of Your Kid?”

If there was ever a rude question to ask a parent, it is this! What more is that people are not just insensitive enough to ask such a question, but they do so in the presence of the child.

2. Getting Down to Business

This insensitivity is even displayed by medical professionals. Some professionals simply come in and get started with the treatment without bothering with introductions. However, it is important that a child, disabled or otherwise, feels comfortable and relaxed before any treatment begins.

3. Continuous Staring from Strangers

In cases when you have to make your child move from the wheelchair, like getting them into the car or van, you become the victim of endless staring from some insensitive strangers. It is very rare to see someone step forward to offer help or support, which, needless to say, is more appreciated than staring.

4. Looking at the Wheelchair Instead of the Child

Another extremely insensitive thing that people do is that they focus more on the wheelchair than the child, making assumptions that the latter cannot perform because of their disability. What people should do instead is focus on asking the child about his or her interests instead of just looking at the wheelchair.

5. Different Safety Rules for Your Kids

You might come across people who think they know more about what is safe and unsafe for your child. You may have to face these additional rules when you go to parks, skating rinks and other activity centers. However, the fact is that most of the activities can be safe for your kids if you are assisting them, so disregard disappointing remarks.

6. Asking You Questions About Your Child

Another habit that is extremely discouraging is when people ask you about your child’s activities and hobbies instead of just asking the child directly. The next time someone does this to your child, just turn around and ask the same question to your child and let him or her answer.

Dealing with all these social challenges can be difficult if you are not aware of what may come your way. Learn more about what being a parent to a disabled child means so that you can cope with the insensitive nature of some people and share your insight with others.

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