The other day I was talking to a friend on the phone after my doctors appointment. This last appointment was the big one. We found out that we have a little boy on the way! I remember saying that I didn’t really have a preference so long as the baby way healthy. I chatted with my friend for a few more minutes before hanging up.
When I hang up, Mom mentions that she had a friend who used that same phrase while she was pregnant. Then when she had the baby it turned out to be a child with down syndrome. She went on to tell me that said friend then felt extremely guilty for telling people that the sex didn’t matter as long as the baby was healthy.
Then a question popped into my head as I was driving a little later on. Maybe it’s my line of work. Perhaps it’s one of my good blogging friends who has a special needs child. Then again, it could be because of my cousin’s very adorable 2.5 year old with downs. But I couldn’t help to think: Why do people think a disability makes someone unhealthy?
Does someone who have special needs typically have more challenges? Medical demands? Need more time spent on them? Sure. Having special needs does make things more complicated (i.e. more doctors appointments, surgeries, medical attention, ect). As well as makes life harder on a consistent basis. However, when it comes to those with special needs, I have a hard time as labeling them as unhealthy.
Perhaps it’s because I’ve taken the time to get to know many who have some sort of special needs. Honestly, they have been some of the most healthy people I’ve known. Sure, maybe they’re a little awkward in social settings…but maybe that’s because they tend to be so open, accepting and completely brutally honest.*
Many times, the world hasn’t been able to condition these sweet beings as it has those of us who don’t have a mental, physical or emotional disability. Often we find it hard to be accepting of people no matter their look, beliefs, ect. Yet for most of them, it’s easier for them to adapt to new people. When we find it so hard to speak simple truths, they (if verbal) rarely hold back. The list could go on and on.
Perhaps, instead of looking at those with special needs as being unhealthy, we can look at them and think “what can I learn from this person?” Maybe even attempt to connect or get to know those people, their lives, their personalities, their challenges, their achievements (after all many of them have more than we do), ect.
*Keep in mind these statements are generalizations and observations from my experience. I do realize that not everyone with special needs are like this. I don’t say these things to offend anyone nor to condemn anyone. I say them to simply share my point of view when it comes to having a disability (no matter mental, physical, emotional) in reference to being unhealthy.