Sometimes back in my village, there was this very successful woman. She seemed to have everything in check. Her husband was driving a good car while she held a full-time job—something that was rare in a village where all our mothers were housewives.
But people gossiped about her. They said that she had a dark secret. It took us kids time to realize the secret. She had a kid who had cerebral palsy. He was always isolated, hidden in her bungalow. The child was nonverbal since he did not interact with anyone in the village.
It was only when the child was bout 10 years that the mother found the courage to let the cat out of the bag. The boy was pale, thin and weak. He had had no physical activity. His speech was greatly affected. His parents and siblings were clearly ashamed about the child. They had this stigma of bearing a special needs child.
Unfortunately, the child died.
And it felt so bad to have him denied of the joy of mixing with other children, playing out and even going to school. I am sure his memory is a source of discord in the family. They might be rich but that is something that will nag them for a long time coming.
Here are things not to be ashamed about your child
- That they are physically disabled and on a wheelchair
Come on, do not be ashamed of this. Wear it like a pride badge that despite everything you are always there for the kid. In case you show shame in having a kid who is disabled, it is when the stigma comes flowing in. Just like this story that I was telling you about.
- That they are late talkers
When you take your child to preschool, it will be clear that they are late talkers. But do not worry. By hiding this fact, you are not helping things. Take them out for speech therapy or any other activity that is going to help them. Let them be social with other kids because they will surely grab a few words here and there as they play out with others.
- That they are autistic
If your child is autistic, they might be having issues with sensory overload. When going out, they might demand to carry these noise reduction headphones so that the outside noise does not affect them that much. They might also show signs of stimming in public such as jumping up and down, snapping their fingers, flapping their hands or even banging their heads on surfaces. It is just an indicator that they need some sensory stimulation. Rather than feel bad about this, get them sensory toys that will provide the sensory stimulation that they are looking for.