After Blondie's surgery it took me a long time to say disabled. I hated it. It somehow meant that she was not as capable as her sisters, or obviously different, when my view of my children was that all 4 of them were obviously different. Uniqueness is what makes us valuable.
A fellow hemi parent, Roxanne, shared this video on facebook:
After watching this woman's speech I looked her up online. She is a double knee amputee since toddlerhood, and is now an actress, model, and athlete. All three of those things our pop culture tells you are "cool."
I have always told others that Blondie is incredibly inspiring for me everyday in the way that she naturally overcomes obstacles: getting dressed with one hand by 3.5, tying shoes with one hand by age 5, and so many other things that people don't think about. I still waffle about telling people her diagnosis because of the stereotypes and judgements that immediately come to mind, because I worry that the uneducated, or uninitiated will decide she can't do things.... but now I'm starting to think that is the "disability" of the other person.
I am the mom of a hemi child, and she is amazing. So, in the spirit of "Everyone has something rare and valuable to offer society," I'm going to simply call my daughter by her real name, and never use the "D" word again.
This woman has managed to sum up many things I've spoken about - on the blogs, to other parents and teachers. I think its worth the 20 minutes to listen.