Saturday, December 5, 2015


It's not uncommon for parents of kiddos with limb differences or limb difference adults to be a part of many online communities. I posted about a controversial topic the other day. Today, another one arose. Are kids with limb differences disabled? There are two sides of the fence. Which one do you stand on?

Here are some of the things parents of kiddos with limb differences said that feel that their child with a limb difference is entitled to social security benefits or disability. "My child is entitled to it because they are disabled". "There are people who get it and shouldn't so my child should get it because he's entitled to it". "He needs a special keyboard at school so he should be entitled to the benefits of disability due to that". "The surgeon thinks he should get it". "I get it so I can get my son's clothes altered and he cries because he can't jump rope". "It's the principle, he should get it because he should". 

"He may need it when he's older when there are jobs he wants and can't get because it may be harder with a limb difference". "Nothing stops my 16 year old son, he fixes cars and races car, disabled? I think not". "I was born with a left hand difference and if anyone ever called me disabled, I'd pop them in the nose". "My son is not financially suffering due to his limb difference, disability is for people with a real disability". "These kids are not disabled, they are perfectly abled!"

Here is where I stand. I don't want to label my child as "disabled". I think she is perfectly able! She's able to do anything other people are able to do, she does adapts and does things differently. I also don't want her to view herself as disabled, which is GIANT in my eyes. I don't want anything to hold her back. Her hand is NO excuse for not doing something. If she can't figure it, we'll try. If we can't figure it out, we'll take it to our friends from the limb different community and from camp. I have LOTS of faith in the camp family we've created and I'm sure one of them will be able to help us through any issues we have to work through. What would we use the money for? Her limb difference doesn't cost us anything extra. If anything, it's taught us a lot of empathy and kindness. It's taught our children the same thing. We are lucky to know so many people with differences and it allows our children to all think before they speak. It's allowed us to make differences (physical, mental and emotional) a topic of conversation that is normal in our house. We've talked a LOT about staring and how it makes people feel. Bella has an autistic girl in her class and it has allowed Bella to embrace her classmate. She knows that she wants people to treat her with kindness and not stare so she does the same to her friend. We've also talked of helping people to feel welcome and not excluding people from playing or activities. 

I also agree to disagree. Much like politics or religion, the discussion could get heated or out of hand. I agree to let people state their opinions and respect their opinion even if their opinion varies greatly from mine. It's called respect. 

Where do you stand? What is your opinion? Can you agree to disagree with others who have a different opinion from yours?

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