Monday, January 14, 2013

A Little of This and a Little of That


I don't remember which Miss America contestant it was. All the beautiful, skinny, skimpily-dressed women starting running together eventually. But, for the contestant who said she enjoyed supporting Miracle League and all the children 'confined to wheelchairs', please do a little research on disability etiquette before your next pageant.

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As a parent of a child with disabilities, especially disabilities that might involve a lack of social awareness, do you offer explanations or excuses for your child in public? For example, if you were visiting Disney World and your child with Autism ran up to one of the character actors and starting talking gibberish and acting in a very excited manner, would you say to the character, "my child has autism"? Or do you wait for people to ask you why your child is different, or do you just go about your business and enjoy your family time?

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My child doesn't have scurvy, unfortunately. I know that sounds strange, but I was hoping for that diagnosis because it is easy to fix the associated problems. Ashley has been on high dose vitamin C treatment for a month, and the swelling in her right leg, ankle and foot are unchanged. It's back to the drawing board for the doctor...

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You are everything you don't believe you are. You are brilliant and insightful. You are handsome and well mannered. You know how to behave in any social situation, and you have a lot to share that most people would be interested in hearing. You are caring and considerate. In short, you are a remarkable human being and I wish I could say something to make you believe that. You know who you are....

ATM: A 65 degree day in the middle of January!

1 comment:

Lucy Hadley Cash said...

And this is my favorite part of Disney: No explanation needed. The cast is exceptionally nonplussed and in fact warm. And maybe it's because there are so many guests there with differences, but even when my George was a hot mess of tics, and his are ostly gross motor so they are far from discreet, NOBODY seemed to notice.

We go to Disney every year, and it's in large part because they are SO GOOD at what they do. The only time I've offered up an explanation there was checking in, to explain why I appreciated the upgrade to water view but would truly prefer ground level, even if it looked out at a parking lot.