Whenever I share with someone about A-Man’s autism or Baby M’s developmental delay the first response is almost always “I’m sorry”.
When people go to their ultrasound waiting to hear if they’re having a boy or girl and come home with a diagnosis of a disability, parents are counseled on their options and how difficult life for them and their child may be.
Again, “I’m sorry” is often the first response. Why? I have two children with disabilities, but I’m not sorry for a second.
There are so many worse things that can happen than a disability. In fact, I see many ways that a disability can be a blessing, not only for the disabled person but all of their family and friends.
There Are Many Things Worse Than Disabilities
Bullies, Intolerance, and Hatred are Much Worse
I don’t know about you, but I would much rather have my sweet and loving son with autism than have a son who bullied or hated others.
Sometimes the bullying isn’t even intentional, they truly just aren’t exposed to people different than themselves.
Luckily, and due in large part to having children with disabilities, my family has been exposed to people with all different abilities.
Mr. C can often be heard explaining to friends on the playground that “A-Man’s brain works differently, so it isn’t his fault that he has some trouble playing with us”.
My Children are Alive
Without going too dark here, I am incredibly thankful to have three living children. I know that many mothers don’t have that same blessing.
Somehow there is a common belief that a life with disabilities isn’t a life worth living. I pray every day that organizations like autism speaks do not succeed in finding a prenatal test for autism.
50% of babies diagnosed prenatally with Down Syndrome are never born.
I refuse to believe that a life with disability is worse than having no life at all.
I know too many people with disabilities whose lives I truly cherish to consider what the world would be like without them.
Disabilities Can be a True Blessing
It is widely believed that many famous people in history had autism including Mozart, Einstein, and Thomas Jefferson.
People with disabilities can see the world in a different way and it often allows for them to come up with creative solutions to problems that others simply never would have thought of.
There is a reason that so many of the most famous inspirational speakers have some sort of disability.
When you have to work harder for everything that so many people take for granted, you get a different outlook on life.
My boys are strong. Their lives matter.
They are kind and loving. They are disabled, and there is so much worse that could happen.
So no, I’m not sorry, and you shouldn’t be either.
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