Hello. This is the face of a disability. I think that it’s pretty cute.
My son Niko has Williams Syndrome. He was diagnosed when he was about a year old. Williams is becoming more common, but when he was diagnosed, we hadn’t heard of it. It was a crazy mystery that messed with his genes. He had heart problems. He couldn’t process calcium and he couldn’t eat certain foods. There were physical and cognitive delays. He went into kidney failure.
When your child struggles with a disability, people tend to focus on what he or she can’t do. “He can’t climb stairs. He can’t speak. He can’t understand what you’re telling him.” Well, all of this is true, but it’s the wrong way of looking at it. I don’t see a man walking down the street, point, and say, “He can’t physically birth children.” I don’t define myself by saying, “I can’t reach something from the top shelf without a chair. Hello, I’m Mercedes, and I can’t do handstands.” That isn’t the way we typically think, so we do we do it when it comes to disabilities?
My son is seven now. He is learning to say a few words. He can sing. He can give kisses, recognize when you’re sad, and get himself a drink of water. He is doing so much more than he was doing even a year ago. Why focus on the can’ts? Why not focus on the cans? It’s more comfortable for all of us.