- Wil wants and deserves to be treated as you’d treat anyone. As the individual he is.
- But, 47 chromosomes has an impact on Wil.
- To respect him for who he is, you cannot have an idealized view of what disability is. When you work closely with people with disabilities it is challenging. And here’s why…
- You have to step back and try to understand what is driving the behavior. This is the single most challenging aspect. Whether we realize it or not, we impose our thoughts on others. To step back with an open mind and analyze the situation is incredibly challenging at times. Especially if it’s reoccurring, or you are in a hurry, or there is no answer you can discern due to communication barriers.
- But here’s the glory—- when you do step back, when you do suspend your own thoughts and open your mind to what may be happening, it’s like a boulder blocking your heart was shifted. You are lighter but stronger. A view of life opens that you didn’t even know existed. It’s an awakening.
- But this shift is so challenging, many of us — including me — need someone with a disability to personally impact their life. As much as it pains me to say that, it’s true.
- Without the personal impact, views of individuals with disabilities are either seen with feel-good idealism or not thought of much at all.
Don’t idealize away the challenges. They are exactly what gives us strength to move boulders and see an elevated view of humanity that sadly many of us won’t do until we have to. I thank God every day that I “had to” because I love this elevated view I never knew existed. 💙
Christie Taylor has written two books about her son, Wil. She found her storytelling connected her with many other families who were raising children with Down syndrome, while at the same time, raising much needed awareness. Read her blog at Wilingness.com