Most families with a disabled child say that one of the hardest difficulties they face is public reaction to disability. As an able-bodied person with little experience of disability myself, I often feel anxious when confronted with disability. Why the anxiety? Mostly because I’m afraid of unintentionally saying something inappropriate, patronising or hurtful.
I read a profound and very moving letter in the Guardian this week and thought it would be worthwhile sharing it here. It deals with a judgemental reaction to disability and offers a great insight into how just one glance or tut can affect a parent or carer in a deeply negative way.
Reading the letter made me wonder whether my anxiety is unusual? Is public reaction to disability always negative? Because I don’t want to offend, do I over compensate in being overly positive and that also annoying? I also wonder what it feels like to be on the receiving end of my anxiety?
I’d really love to hear your stories, experiences and thoughts on this subject. Please either share them below or start a conversation in the forum.
You can read the letter by following the link below:
A letter to the woman who stared at our disabled son ›