This weekend an incident occurred that reminded me of what is is to be disabled in the UK in the 21st Century. I have been disabled since a few weeks after birth, having been born with cancer, but started using a wheelchair full time at the age of fifteen after a complication caused my spine to collapse.
I, myself, am a self confessed social networking addict. My thumb will always gravitate to the Facebook App without a moments pause and I really don't always realise that I'm browsing the feed. Is it really an awful habit? I'm not convinced either way just yet, but I did believe that 48 hours without it might be torture. I'm happy to report, I was wrong.
I think able bodied people are in denial about their thoughts and feelings towards us - they don't want to deal with the thought process, so they shut it out. Well, we are here! And with medical advances and people living longer, there are only going to be more of us! So maybe it's time for people to start coming to terms with their feelings about disability.
People with cerebral palsy can remember when SCOPE was called The Spastic Society. Now we have a culture where political correctness has overtaken and one cannot use the term 'disabled' or 'mentally handicapped' or even 'handicapped'; instead we have to use the terms 'less-abled' or 'learning difficulties'. Is this really required
I look at ways in which to enable and help my son Tom, live his life to the best of his ability with the use of early interventions, sensory play activities and the use of visual timetables. I find the word 'cure' and the connotations of this that a person on the autistic spectrum can be made 'all better' and therefore fixed very unsettling.