Family and caregivers that have children with intellectual disabilities still struggle with un-adapting from social isolation. Not only are the children isolated from "society", but the care givers are as well due to fear of labeling, bullying, and discrimination. Although we have come far as a society to acknowledging and accepting individuals and families with disabilities in our communities, we still have work to do and it starts from our homes.
Why does it matter anyway?
As a family, we have a few people with intellectual disabilities. In our journey, we ensured to focus on the "Able" and not the "Label". We also ensured that our friends, family, teachers, and administrators new that is what we believed and stood for. When Pop was a baby, I refused to talk about his "label". I just brought him around with the expectation that others would just "understand" that he was a baby with some developmental delays. I decided not to discuss it. In my mind, "Why did it matter anyway?"
You Are The Blue Print!
To my families out there who continue to struggle with what others may think, say, or exclude you and your child from, I just wanted to let you know that you are the BLUE PRINT on how others will treat you and your child. If you hide them and restrict them socially, expect that others will do so as well. We as parents, unconditionally love and protect our children, but we need to show the world how imperfectly amazing they are! Fight the stigma! It starts from home.