A while ago I receive a newsletter keeping me informed of the latest legislation, informative classes, and ways to help people with disabilities. The reason I keep informed, is that our son Joey, an adult who is multi-handicapped – has numerous special needs.
One particular story in this newsletter told about a high school student with special needs who was told she could not join her classmates for a trip overseas. Her needs were such that she would occasionally be required to use a wheelchair or get additional rest to make it through a strenuous day. However, it was noted that she would not need assistance. She was denied permission to travel because it was feared she would present a burden to the travel group – slowing them down.
SLOWING THEM DOWN? Hold me back……….!
As a parent with an adult child who needs help dressing, shaving, showering, etc., I am saddened to hear that others express their impatience and feelings of being inconvenienced by not wanting to be “slowed down” because of a handicapped person. How sad that we don’t stop to think how slowed down the handicapped person might be due to their disability and the patience they’ve learned because of it. Or how slowed down their caretakers are – and how their lives are not their own. They do for their child what they do for their own care. God teaches us through people He puts in our lives. I have never learned as much as I have by caring for someone who will never be able to be “on their own.” Have I been slowed down? Definitely-but believe me, the lessons have only been to my advantage!
These blogs are written in hopes that people will learn what others are dealing with and that they would recognize their momentary inconvenience of having to walk around a slow wheelchair or unbalanced person using a walker, to recognize how good they have it and stop being selfish. Instead:
- Pray for the person who lives with this disability, ailment, or suffering every day.
- Pray for the caregivers to have the love, endurance and stamina to go the long haul with their loved one.
- Pray for themselves to be unselfish, to start caring, and get to know someone who is challenged in some way – and offer to help them.
- Pray to get out of their comfort zone.
It won’t be easy…but perhaps a lot easier than becoming a full time caregiver for one with special needs. Slowing down to see what others deal with is a good education.