Skip to content

Category: Schools

Challenges of a Disabled Mum – Mummy’s “Terrible Palsy”

Posted in Cerebral Palsy, Disability and kids, Disabled Parent, Education, Motherhood, Personal, and Schools

As I promised a few months ago, “Challenges of a Disabled Mum” is back – though it has to be said that my biggest challenge at the moment is simply finding the time to blog and develop the many ideas that I have! My five month old baby boy, Niall, is a full time job and by the time he settles at night, I’m absolutely exhausted!

However, I wanted to tell you a little story about my eldest son, Jack, who is now six. Recently, my hubby suddenly told me, “You do realise that Jack refers to your disability as terrible palsy?!” I roared with laughter as I honestly hadn’t picked up on it – Jack had obviously tried to keep it a secret from me! The next day, I decided to ask Jack what disability he thought I had. With a cheeky grin, he revealed his nick name for what is Cerebral Palsy. I didn’t want to chastise him at all as I knew he was being playful and didn’t mean any harm and in all honesty, I thought it a very clever play on words for a six year old.

However, I want him to grow up understanding and embracing disability and the Social Model. As I have done in the past, I took the opportunity to explain to him that although my disability makes some things difficult, it also makes me who I am as a person. As a child, I think at the moment he tends to pick up on the things that I can’t do more so than appreciating the many things that I can do but I think this is why I’m so passionate about the talks I do in schools. Disability needs to be talked about more, both at home and in school, so that children don’t always see disability as negative. I’ve always been open and honest with Jack and will be with Niall, to ensure that their questions are answered in ways that are age appropriate and pave the way for them to advocate the Social Model.

If you’re a parent or a teacher and would like more information about my Disability Talks in schools, please get in touch.

Building an inclusive, more tolerant future

Posted in Accessibility, Disability and kids, Disability Awareness, Education, Equality & Diversity, Fighting for Change, Media, and Schools

I just posted on my Flyinglady Website about how I love going into schools and doing Disability Awareness sessions for the children; I’m so passionate about it that I offer the sessions for free wherever I possibly can.

The sessions help kids to understand that everyone is different and that’s a good thing; life would be incredibly boring if we were all carbon copies of each other.  I go on to try and help the kids to understand how they help people with disabilities and explain how including everybody is so important.  Inclusiveness, in simple, age appropriate language.

Now, as I sit watching the news of yet another, hate driven, evil terrorist attack, I feel despair the same of everyone else. I fear for my little boy and a friend tweets her advice that “All we can do is be the change and teach our children better. The majority of people are good.”

And we are.  The world is full of good, kind, peace loving people and we need to teach our kids – our future – to be the same. Teach them that it’s OK to ask questions, to be curious and that they must be accepting of differences. We need to teach them from a young age about diversity and that age, sex, disability, ethnicity, sexuality and religion make each of us who we are. We’re all different, all unique but ultimately, we’re all human beings and that’s the bottom line which needs to be respected.

So let’s have Disability Awareness on the curriculum but let’s also give Equality and Diversity generally a higher priority from a young age.  Let’s invite a range of people, from all walks of life, to give presentations to schools and allow our children to explore these issues. Let them ask the questions that perhaps their parents would struggle to answer. Let them learn from personal experiences, not just teachers and books.  Perhaps adopting such an approach will help us create a much more tolerate society for our future.