Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Friday, October 8, 2010

People with Disabilities Deserve a Voice Too!


It is so important for society and individuals to recognize that people who have disabilities are just the same as people who do not have disabilities. We need to stand up and advocate for all people. Just because an individual has a disability does not mean that they should not be allowed to make their own choices and decide what they want in life. Consider the following poem:


You and I

I am a resident. You reside
I am admitted you move in.
I have behavior problems.
You are rude.
I am non-compliant. You
Don’t like being told what to do.
When I ask you out to
dinner, it is an outing. When you
ask someone out, it is a date
I didn’t know how many
people have read the progress
notes people write about me. I
don’t even know what is in there.
You didn’t speak to your best
friend for a month after they read
your journal.
I make mistakes during my
check-writing program. Someday I
might get a bank account. You
forget to record some withdrawals
from your account. The bank calls
to remind you.
I wanted to talk with the
nice-looking person behind us at
the grocery store. I was told that it
was inappropriate to talk to
strangers. You met your spouse in
the produce department. He
couldn’t find the bean sprouts.
I celebrated my birthday
yesterday with 5 other residents
and 2 staff members. I hope my
family sends a card. Your family
threw you a surprise party. Your
brother couldn’t make it from out
of state. It sounded wonderful.
My case manager sends a
report every month to my
guardian. It says everything I did
wrong and some things I did right.
You are still mad at your sister
for calling your mom after you got
a speeding ticket.
I am on a special diet
because I am 5 pounds over my
ideal body weight. Your doctor
gave up telling you.
I am learning household skills.
You hate housework.
I am learning leisure skills.
Your shirt says you are a “couch
Potato.”
After I do my budget
program tonight I might get to go
to McDonald’s if I have enough
money. You were glad that the
new French restaurant took your
charge card.
My case manager,
psychologist, R.N., occupational
therapist, physical therapist,
nutritionist and house staff set
goals for me for next year. You
haven’t decided what you want
out of life.
Someday I will be
Discharged…
Maybe.
You will move onward and
Upward.

Elaine Popovich
Lutheran School Services, Midland

People who have disabilities are no different than people who do not have disabilities, so why do we treat them differently?

What are your thoughts about this? How can we teach our children to understand and recognize that people who have disabilities deserve the same things that people who do not have disabilities have rights to?

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