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Knowing People With Your Own DisAbility

April 3, 2010

I don’t write from experience here very often, but today I thought I would like to share something with you all. I am a member of a Google Group for people with Cerebral Palsy, which, for those who don’t know, is my DisAbility.

Today a concerned mother of a young girl with CP wrote to the group about the difficulties her daughter has had making friends. In response, I shared with the group what I am about to share with you here. I wrote:

I am lucky enough to know some amazing people with CP. They have been my lifelong friends. Their parents are lifelong family friends. The connections are unbreakable, as we share something that most people can’t understand.

My friends are more severe than me but that has never made a difference. They always have bright smiles and expressions of excitement for me, and these can make my day like nothing else.

I truly believe that DisAbled people need others who share their DisAbility in their lives, and that their parents need people in their lives who understand their child’s DisAbility.

So I hope all of you have somewhere you can go to meet people who share your disability, or whose child shares your child’s disability. And although I love the Internet, and have seen for myself just how good it can be for people with DisAbilities, I hope that you know these people offline, as I do. There really is nothing quite like that connection, and it really does help. So if you don’t yet know anyone who shares your disability, can I suggest that you try and find at least one person or family that does.

Your commemts, as always, are very welcome.

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