I myself was disabled (legally) for a good portion of my childhood due to medical problems that required that I have machinery with me at all times to clear out my lungs via my trache.
For the most part, aside from a few limitations. I was just a normal kid. To myself and to my friends (what few I had).
My mom was the one that made me out to be a seemingly helpless child. Out of fear more than anything else. The only REAL limitation I really had was going under water, or letting it go past by breast area. Otherwise, it was all good.
But she restricted me to no running, no playing softball or kickball (or soccer), no playing in the dirt and having to only go to friend’s homes that were “near by in case something happened”.
I refuse to do those things to my son. He has some limitations. Not in the physical sense, but mentally. Yes indeed, he is EXTREMELY smart educationally. But he severely lacks interpersonal relationship skills, behavior appropriation and his maturity level is more of my six year old’s level, if not a bit younger to a degree.
But I still let him walk to school (on warm days, not in the rain or dead of winter). He gets to go to friend’s homes, where a few may be as much as a five minute drive (instead of a five minute walk). He spends the night at his uncle’s home once in a while and if a friend invited him for a night’s stay, sure!
Bryce also must do chores. Clean his room, take recycling to the basement and place them in the appropriate bins, gather his dirty laundry to wash, put away his clean clothes.
I don’t do the “he just doesn’t understand or do it in a timely manner because of his mental problems, so I’ll just do it for him” crap. He has working arms, legs, feet and hands! Why should I do it for him when he is PERFECTLY able-bodied to do so?
The only time you will see me use the “Disabled” card is when I have to list them for the doctors, to obtain services for the school or medical settings and to explain (if it happens) when he has an episode.
Otherwise, he is just a kid. Not a handicapped or disabled child. Just a normal child. I refuse to let his disabilities hinder my child from doing ANYTHING he wants to do or to try and do.
He will need to be an independent citizen of society. How will he become one if I do EVERYTHING for him and make the “Disabled” excuse for him for everything?
The world doesn’t revolve around Bryce’s disabilities. He and his disabilities are having to revolve and integrate in to the world around them. And that’s as it should be.