Disability Doesn’t Mean Inability
Not long ago my oldest daughter created the video that you’ve likely watched here. The one thing that struck me in the video was the statement:
“Disability Doesn’t Mean Inability”
What a powerful truth and is at the core of what I believe this blog to be about. I not only want to tell my son’s amazing story, how he’s managed to overcome every obstacle he’s been forced to face… but to tell as many amazing stories about children with disabilities.
Their challenge may be difficult, but it doesn’t make it impossible. I mean when a person with no arms can draw amazing portraits or play the piano, we sit in quiet amazement at their tenacity to overcome. Or when a boy with cerebral palsy lifts weights and kick boxes we are stunned by his ability.
But when many people look at my son or other people with Down Syndrome, they feel pity. They believe in their limited worldview that someone like him, can’t achieve anything of significance because to them they see someone who is retarded. But I know what he is capable of, the people who work with him, his therapists both past and present can see his future, and it is something to behold.
I mean how many children have to be taught how to crawl, how to walk, talk or even drink through a straw? My son has, and he’s mastered most of them and continues to amaze every single person who knows him. Or has had to deal with having ten, fifteen consecutive seizures at a time, given medicine that suppressed his immune system so badly that he was hospitalized 11 times with upper respiratory infections, once for his blood sugar dropping to 35 and breaking a leg. And all in the span of less than 12 months! My son, John-Michael, did and thankfully he’s been miraculously healed from his seizures!
He’s had to overcome more challenges in four short years of his existence than most children will face in a lifetime, and yet there are some who want us to be ashamed to have brought our son into the world.
Well, all I can say to those who think him a worthless retard, not worthy of the life we decided to give him…. (well, I’ll refrain from what I would’ve said to you if it were ten years ago.)
In the end, we’ll see whose child grows up and knows they can achieve anything and who’ll end up an internet troll who can’t help themselves but leave ignorant and nasty comments on innocent posts that highlight a person with a disability’s life.
If you are one of those people, I’m sorry that your parents didn’t show you how valuable you are or love you for that matter. Because I know deep down you’re hurting because someone, most likely someone who was supposed to love and care about you, didn’t and that’s why you need to be cruel… it helps you feel better about yourself, and that’s okay.
As for me, I’m going to teach my son about you… not to hate you, not to get you back for your cruelty but to feel for you, to pray for you and to love you in spite of your undeserved hatred.
I am not a parent who subscribes to publicly washing your mouth out with soap through politically correct speech or getting rid of the words you choose to use about my son or his friends. Because I know they’re words from your heart, and it’s okay to think my son is inferior to you because I know his life will prove to the world that…
Disability does not mean inability!