Let’s admit it right away, having a family member with a disability is shocking. There, it’s been said. Now we can recognize them for who they already are: a family member. Nothing has a stronger bond than family, or at least it shouldn’t.
As much as the brother, sister, mother, or father has a disability, it does not define who they are. The disability only acknowledges that things can be done differently.
Growing up my family supported my needs, but also made sure I did not rely on them. I had to pull my own weight in the family just like my sisters and brothers. For a time, they helped with putting on my socks and shoes, as I could not reach that far. But later we found a sock aide that I could use myself. The popularity of Velcro shoes also helped me be more independent.
The important thing of family, any family, is communication and support for one another. A disability should not be a reason to do more support within a family. Having a person with a disability in the family is actually a good thing. Let me explain.
Walking in our own does, we get accustom to the regular things in life. We miss out of unique ways of looking at things. A family outing to the ball park takes on a twist if someone uses crutches or a wheelchair. But it is only a twist, not a limitation or a barrier.
While we acknowledge and encourage businesses during National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we need to help the businesses see the pricelessness of having a person with a disability on the payroll. Employers who do are enriched with seeing things they may miss. Support for family is more than in the house, it is anywhere you go.
One of the big things is to make sure no one bullies a family member. As much as I can speak up for myself, my family has my back as well. It’s sad when I read repeated stories in the news about someone committing suicide because of bullying. Just because someone is insecure in their own abilities, it does not give them a right to pick on someone else for perceived inabilities.
Anyone that knows me knows there really isn’t anything I can’t do.
Support is just that. Don’t let any family member believe for a second they can’t do something when they put their mind into it.
Secondly, hug the bully. Why you ask? Because someone has forgotten about loving them at some point, so they lash out. Lash back with love. Bullying and suicide need to disappear from the human condition and vocabulary.