Tuesday, September 16, 2008
What If WE Shared OUR Lives?
As I watched the show Jon and Kate Plus Eight on TLC last night, I started thinking about how great it would be if TLC did a similar show about a family that had a child with a significant disability. Well, maybe it would be great…
How do you think viewers would respond? If they saw my Ashley having dinner with the family, burping as loudly as she could, and then laughing hysterically, especially if her brothers started laughing at her, would they think it was amusing?
If the cameras followed me on the six trips out of bed each night to go to her room, yell at her to get back into bed, find the vibrating toothbrush she likes to put in her mouth to help her get to sleep, and find the exact right piece of wire (must.be.the.red.white.and.blue.one until it must..be.the.purple.one until it must.be….) that she needs to hold while drifting off to sleep, do you think the viewers would be thanking their lucky stars they weren’t me?
Would the viewers feel sorry for her when I insisted she dress herself and put her own shoes on? Would they believe me to be the worst mom in the world when I made her do her own laundry? Would they even understand that a 13 year old deafblind child IS capable of doing her own laundry?
If the viewers had young children themselves, they probably could relate to how long it takes us to get ready to go anywhere. And they could probably relate to always having a mess around the house. But would they be repulsed by tube feedings, seizures and the like? Would it make them stop watching the show?
Would getting to know my family or your family have a positive impact on viewers, or would they do what a lot of society does without the TV show – ignore us and give thanks silently that it is us and not them? I wonder…