Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Kids Are Kids!

Thanks to Ruth and Connie for finding this interesting article about a recent study that concludes children with cerebral palsy are no less happy then their able bodied peers,

The study surveyed 500 8-12 year old children with cerebral palsy and found that while they participated in less activities then able bodied children their enjoyment of life was just as great.

Professor Alan Colver, of Newcastle University who conducted the study hit the nail on the head.” The change now needed concerns attitudes. Pity and sorrow should not be directed to disabled children because our findings indicate that they experience life as do non-disabled children. Maximum effort is needed to ensure their rights as citizens, rather than as disabled children, to participate in society as fully as other children."

Of course! Kids are kids. They just want to have a good time. Check out pictures of Moo, Ellie, Holland and Eden all having fun.

Let’s do what we can to not take happiness away from children through exclusion, pity, and lack of opportunity.


Ruth said...

Thanks for the link, David. I got the article on a list serve actually. I'm fascinated by one thing that our society does to adolescents that I've seen and would like to see an article about- it tends to see (and treat) younger children with disabilities as objects of pity , excluding them - but then when they begin to advocate for themselves (during their teen years usually) they are told they are "feeling sorry for themselves" and it gets turned into being seen as self pity if they fight the status quo- when actually they're attempting to empower themselves. Fortunately most of these kids/teens get pretty adept at catching onto when someone is trying to "box" them into a definition.

Dan Vander Plaats said...


Thanks for the link and your continuing effrts on the blog. It's great to have this insightful resource. If you ever want to stop by my blog (Gospel of Weakness), please feel free. Have a great day!

David said...

Ruth - Yes! I really agree with your observations. I think society (especially school and health care providers) want children and teens with disabilities to be compliant and "easy". As a teen, if you advocate for your needs you are seen as rebellious, manipulative, and disrespectful. You are labelled as angry about your limitations rather than as being angry about your mistreatment. Acceptance of one's impairment in the minds of many means agreeing with what "they" want you to be and act like - namely accepting your inferior place in society.

Dan - thanks for your comment. I'll visit your blog.

Anonymous said...

Such great comments from everyone! (I love to come here and read your stuff, David!)

As an "able-bodied" person, my insights are from that perspective. I see kids being marginalized all the time - children and teens - basically disregarded when shopping, in line, at the doctors, getting a haircut - adults always look to other adults - even if the issue directly and primarily involves the child.

My younger daughter needs braces. When we went in for the consultation, the woman who met with us actually talked to my daughter, not me, while I sat there and listened! She explained everything to her and what would happen. I was so impressed I said something to her right then and there.

I think we need to reinforce the people who do treat others as individuals and those who regard everyone as valuable and capable.

xoxo, Lee :)

Kathryn said...

David - Right ON!!! That is such good news as a parent of a disabled child. I am glad to hear that other disabled kids are making out as well as Ellie. That was one of my main concerns for Ellie when all of this happened - I thought- ok - I just want to make sure she is happy. And often, she seems very happy. Her smiles and laughter and hugs all prove it to me over an over.

It's really true- pity is not what's needed - but ACCESS is!

Great post!