Monday, February 15, 2016

Do People with Disabilities Have Feelings?

Back before the New Year began, I was contemplating potential blog topic ideas.  To get the ideas flowing, my sis typed a rather generic statement into the Google search box, asking it what nondisabled people most wanted to know about disabled people.  To my shock, Do People with Disabilities Have Feelings? was at the top of the results.

[Image is: Me, in my kitchen, teary eyed but forcing a smile.  Photo credit:  ME!  November, 2015]


Those of you who have been here a long time are probably thinking, "Why is she writing about this?  Of course people with disabilities have feelings!"  Yes.  We do.  (That's the answer, folks.  We do have feelings.)  The thing is, that's frighteningly not obvious to everyone.  Disabled people - disabled children -  lose their lives even today because of the false belief that we do not have feelings, and therefore, are not human.

We absolutely have feelings.  We have all feelings.  Whether or not we are able to express them in a way that makes sense to you is another matter, but we all have them.  Feelings exist in us.

Friends with disabilities, what are some harmful things that have been believed about you?

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6 comments:

  1. Wow, I am surprised that this was even a question in people's minds....what a dangerous misconception to have, to believe that a disability would render somebody void of feelings.

    I think, for me, one of the most harmful beliefs that people have had about me was that I wasn't capable...presumed incompetence is difficult to deal with.

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    1. I was just as shocked as you are! Like, REALLY? And yes...it really is :(

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  2. The biggest thing that affects my daughter on a daily basis is that because her body works differently, people assume that her mind is not functioning. The old "presumed incompetence". Questions are always directed to me and not her and in third person as if she wasn't there. Inflections in their voice sound like they are talking to a baby and not a "nearly 10 year old" as she says. She loves her art teacher as my daughter puts it, "She talks to me like I am just a normal person." She is a normal person!!! And yes, she does have feelings. Always assume competence!!!

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    1. Kindred Kids, Yes! Absolutely! I'm glad to hear your daughter has at least one teacher who treats her with the respect she deserves. I hope the rest follow that example and presume competence, as you've said.

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  3. Thank you Tonia. I've recently found your blog and feel like there is another person in the world who understands!!! I read some of your posts to my daughter and she loves them too! Keep writing, teaching and inspiring...we will change the world! Thanks for taking the time to reply;)

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    1. Kindred Kids, I'm so glad to hear you and your daughter love the blog. I've loved getting your comments. Always feel free to say something, I love hearing from people. And tell your daughter I said hello! :)

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