This month’s guest post was written by one of my loving grandparents Lynn Mallette I hope you enjoy it!
Interesting terms; disabled, abled, handicap, able and now differently able.
I heard a story recently about animals that were being called “differently able”. The term referred to their disabilities. Some were born without limbs, partial limbs or missing limbs from an accident or wounded. Veterinarians, engineers and prosthetic designers put their heads together to come up with a plan the help the animals. On their own, the animals adapted well to their own reality. The group worked with 3D Printers and came up with ingenious designs to help the animals. Which made the animal’s lives better.
This story got me thinking about how we adapt to our specific circumstances, whether we are able or disabled. Although, since hearing the term “differently able”, I am very comfortable using this term. I think of my abilities as different from others.
People do not realize the effect they have on others when they use a term in the negative, disabled, fat, thin, pretty, plain, stupid, etc. Insecure people like to put labels on those that are different, to make themselves feel better. Unfortunately, we have a habit of internalizing the term as “what did they mean by that?” Sometimes it festers into a negative issue and becomes hurtful. When we are in pain, we strikeout.
There is a lot of negativity in this world. Sometimes, accomplishments are hard to come by. As I said before, labels can be negative. It seems to me that we are all “differently able”, in one way or another. It’s how we deal with them that makes us stand out.
People with disabilities have to work with the cards they are dealt. You can choose to be miserable and take the “woe is me” attitude. Or you can choose to be happy and look for a solution. Therefore, I am happy to be called “Differently Able”.
Sarah has come a long way in her life. She has become one of the strongest young women I know. She has a wonderful support system, loving parents, wonderful sisters, grandparents who are strong and understanding and an outstanding medical community.
Thank you, grandma, for writing this article and if you have any questions please leave them in the comments below!