A-Z Disability Challenge | C : Be Truthful To Your Children

Howdy!

This post is very close to my heart. Since my sister found out she was pregnant with my nephew, I wondered how we were going to explain to him about my disability. It’s kind of easier to explain to children in the grocery store about how came to be like this. Our go-to is “god made me like this” or “I was born like this” but I have a feeling Nolan isn’t going to let those explanations slide. I think it is important to talk about disabled people with young children.

I’ve never been able to hold him like everybody else because of my arms, so imagine the expression on his face when I started basically wagging them in front of his face when he was about three months old! He was mesmerized that these large hook-like arms that were just swinging back and forth. He’s been practically in love with them ever since. He has expressed his interest in my feet recently, one day he was on the couch and I started waving at him with my feet and he just starting waving with his foot! He’s starting to realize how different I am compared to his mom and dad. We have a special connection.

Children are both very curious and honest creatures. They haven’t been in this world long enough to see the bad unless they’ve been taught it since they were in the womb! They like to figure things out for themselves, and only ask their parents or grandparents when they’re a bit lost for words. I’ve seen a lot of kids in various ages, stare but also try to shield their faces so you don’t notice them. They usually wait to ask questions until I’m fully out of view, but I’ve realized if I tell them “hi” or I wave at them, they’ll just put you on the spot right there and you just have to go with your gut and hope their families will fill in the gaps the best they can after you leave. Here’s my advice to parents who would rather dodge this discussion because you think it might be too difficult for them to understand; if you’re comfortable then explaining the differences between a girl and a boy’s anatomy and/or race, then saying something how a person could be in braces from head to toe, standing in crutches, or rolling around in a wheelchair will be a piece of cake.

How do you explain to children about disability? Where do you stand on educating people on how to talk about some of the more common disabilities, like spina bifida, blindness, deafness, or even cerebral palsy to children at home or even at school?

My Worst Fear

anne

Howdy!

Today’s post is going to be a little interesting. For most people, talking about their worst fears would probably be a bad thing, because of the backlash that could come from family members and/or friends who love to tease them about it at different gatherings and holidays. Honestly, I don’t blame them for wanting to keep quiet about it.

People usually are afraid of “little” things like the ones I mentioned in my fetish and phobia post last month, but I actually have a fear of something that is slowly but surely becoming a “great engineering feat” in the world. Are you confused yet? Let me walk (or in this case, roll) you back to when I was in elementary school in the late 90’s!

I want to say I was probably in second grade when all of my classmates were made to sit out in the middle of the gym floor (except me) while we watched a little movie. Now it wasn’t a cheerful Disney film or anything, this was an educational movie for us kids. I vaguely remember it talking about different careers and what the world would look like with all of the advancing technology people were learning at the time. Surprisingly, this was a very stimulating film for all of us, even if the adults had 80’s styled, big rimmed glasses and denim jumpsuits with big hair to match!

One of the things I actually do remember very well, was the “possibility” of self-driven cars. Now to every single one of my classmates and even some of the teachers, this was pretty cool! There was a scene of a man, seemingly driving this crappy looking orange vehicle with his knees and eating cheese burger with his hands. The car just knew where he wanted to go and it took him there without him ever needing to control the steering wheel and feet controls, and it absolutely terrified me! Funnily enough though, the first thing that everybody says when this pops up on the screen, is “Wow!” Meghan, this is something you could look forward to in the future!” I was both amazed and insulted at that comment, because at the time I wanted to be like everybody else and obviously nobody believed that I could drive my own car without needing all of that!

Now looking back years later and seeing Ford create a self parking car. My worst fears were realized whenever I’d see those commercials on my television, and I have to say it absolutely made me feel like I could throw up everytime it came on my TV and on YouTube!

I should probably explain why I’m afraid of these self-driving cars.

It actually goes back a little bit further in my childhood. I was invited to a birthday party, and the girl’s family lived out in the country and that afternoon as we were leaving, it began to pour down rain–eventually it had turned into a medium size thunderstorm! My mom put me in the car and buckled me in. She went back into the house to call my friend’s mom about how to get there and as it continued to rain down overhead. I seriously thought the car was moving without my mom being in it and pressing on the gas pedal. It was the worst situation I had been in and unfortunately, ever since it happened, I’ve had nightmares of being trapped in an empty car and I am usually rolling down hills or just down the street. Every four months, I have a similar dream of being stuck in a beloved family car without a way of getting out!

I’m getting closer and closer to my thirties and it never fails to me that I can still have that fear. My mom probably doesn’t even remember the incident. and hardly anybody in my family actually knows about this either. I’ve always felt that it’s a stupid little thing that why should I share it? In a way, I’m still asking it as I write this post, but I might get lucky (sorry for your sake!) that other people have the same fear. They might’ve experienced a similar thing during their childhood and it’s played a bigger role in their adult lives. I’ve always wondered if that has something to do with the fact that I’ve never wanted my driver’s licences. I tell people all the time that I can’t be trusted with a car because of my speeding record in my power wheelchair, but maybe this is the real reason for it. I don’t think we’ll ever know the truth about that, but it is an interesting theory to make I think.

So do you have any “weird” phobias that you’d like to share with me? What have you done to try to face and get over them completely?

snowflake