Having a Disability is Normal
Let’s talk about normal. More important, let’s talk about who gets to decide what is normal?
Is having a child with typical development the only thing that can be called normal? Or, children with mental and physical challenges can too be viewed as normal?
I get it, and I’m not going to lie – before being a parent, I too had the same idea of which children are “normal”, as the most people in our society have.
And today, I know that “normal” should not be used as a description for humans because it’s a label that doesn’t fit.
Because no two people – with physical and mental challenges or not- are the same.
Everyone has different desires and priorities, different dreams, and perspectives. All of us live their lives from a different point of view, and everyone is trying to get the best of what life has to offer.
As this is being common for all human beings, that means that we are all different, but we all want to enjoy and feel good.
Who gets to decide what’s normal?
Does society consider that a family with mom, dad, and a child with typical development is normal? What about a family with mom, dad, and child with a disability? Is that consider as normal?
What about two parents and a typically developed child, but one of the parents is with a disability? Is that consider as normal?
Why shouldn’t it be? Of course, it’s normal.
Whenever someone labels another person as “not normal,” they should consider that they are announcing that someone else’s existence is not being normal. They put etiquette and label on another person’s whole life. Who gets the right to do that?
For example, you live as you can, eat, sleep, work, have friends, don’t experience health issues, and have hobbies … whatever, right?
And some families have a member with disabilities who have different routines then your family. They also eat, sleep, have friends, go to the doctors every now, and do other stuff … And someone can come and say: This situation is not normal.
Is it because it is different from your situation?
I know that it’s just a language, but it matters.
No one has the right to judge.
There is no normal and no normal person. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity.
No matter what challenges your child has, treat it as equal, as it understands every word. Admit that your child is normal just the way it is. Acknowledge him/her. Don’t point out its limitations all the time as an excuse not to do something or go somewhere.
As special parents, we get to add to the mass consciousness. And if we start to act from the point of total acceptance, others outside our families won’t think that something abnormal /weird/sad/ is going on. And soon, when new parents find out that their child is special, they won’t feel like the world is collapsing above their heads.
Because the big part of the shock and the sadness when we find out that such a challenge is on our way, belongs to the fear of being rejected. Fear of being judged, being called “not normal,” and similar problems.
You are enough as a parent. And don’t worry if others are still labeling you like “abnormal” family or whatever. You, too, needed some time to accept and restructure your points of view.
And finally, the only thing that matters is for you to feel good. It is important for you to claim that you are living a fulfilled life and that YOU enjoy your family.
If we need to label and distinguish things as normal and not normal, then I would say that:
*normal is to want to be happy;
*normal is to want to do your best in everything you do
*normal is to want to smile and have fun
*normal is to want to love and be loved
*normal is to want to have friends
*normal is to enjoy music
*normal is to want to be treated well
*normal is to want to be alone for awhile
*normal is to want to live in peace and harmony
Do you want all those things? Does your child want all of this? See? Normal😊.
Be the example, and the others will follow.