Just read Ellen Seidman’s article on the Parents website called What will my child be when he grows up?
She quite rightly points out that although her son Max, who has cerebral palsy, has no obvious ambitions, the possibilities are huge because of advances in technology.
She cites Natasha with severe CP who has just crossed the English Channel single handed in a yacht and Steph who is now a Cross Fit trainer.
The Paralympics brought a tear to my eye as folk overcame immense challenges. When asked if he was an inspiration to young disabled athletes one champion said “I don’t know. I just want to win.”
I think it is most important for parents of disabled children to be open minded about what their child can do.
Quite often this takes a leap of faith as frightening opportunities appear. It would be so easy to say no and wrap our children back up in cotton wool.
My son Ashley is outgoing and adventurous and grabs life by the horns. When folk suggest things we bite our lip and say “OK, let him try.”
And it’s hard.
To us he is still that tiny bundle of broken baby who needs to be cuddled and looked after.
A few years ago the doctors said “when he stands….” and we looked at each with astonishment.
Now he stands, walks with a frame and can just about walk independently. He gets told off for running in school. (We like this)
He takes reasonably good photos with his ipad and can record us with his DS.
We all have potential and usually set our own limits on how much of that potential we achieve. My work is convenient and is nothing like what I could do. Ashley and the family impose limits which I truly truly don’t mind. I like my life and the bundle I have is so good.
However, when it comes to our kids, limits are a no-no. This is especially so when they face challenges such as Ashley’s.
I don’t know what he’ll achieve but I know it’s an open sky and with his courage and determination, one day he’ll fly.