except at independence time

Hey, remember all those 90s sitcoms where the leading actor is basically just playing a wacky, cartoonishly exaggerated version of themselves, to the point that they don’t even bother to give the character a different name?

What would yours be about?

Disability and Childhood: Cont’d

Life with disabilities is weird.  You mature super fast due to surgeries and the like, however people still feel they can baby you.  All throughout my life, I’d have surgery and therapies and stuff so my childhood was different than most. Oh sure I watched cartoons and ate ice cream but some of that was done from the comfort of a hospital bed. I can say with wholehearted certainty that I didn’t have an average childhood. Wheelchairs, therapies, paras, a normal childhood  does not make.  All of my school sanctioned therapies  were centered around independent  living except in grade school. I liked that therapy time better :)

Adults that choose to work with disabled children  have the best intentions (that’s my game plan after graduation, however I know a thing or 2 about growing up disabled) BUT you can have all the best intentions and still fail. Why is this? Because as a professional you don’t have disabled experience. I lived through exclusion, having paras, bullying, awkward encounters with the opposite sex, I get it. Childhood/teenhood/YA-hood is hard enough with extra challenges. Something I particularly disliked were certain goals set at PPTs. In hs my goal was to say hi to 5 to people daily. As an introvert, that wasn’t happening. At times, I never felt like a whole person just an assemblage of goals to tick off.

Adults were bad but fitting in with my peers was worse. Of course, I had good friends that played with and talked to me but I was in the dark about friendship until one day in grade 8. My para didn’t know how to do something during computer class so this girl turned to me  with a smile &  offered to help. To this day, she is nice and ever bit my best friend she started to be in grade 8. I would not have survived high school without her.  She  understands and knows everything about me.

I just think it’s ridiculous that people  treat us like mini adults when we’re children & children when  we’re adults.