Sunday, September 27, 2009
My child may have a disability, but hello! His personality isn't handicapped
Baby Max and his big personality
Friday, I had to take Max to a pediatric hematologist; he has two blood mutations that make him more prone to clotting, part of the suspected reason he had a stroke at birth (a lack of oxygen also supposedly contributed to that catastrophe). I just wanted to make sure things were status quo. Max is fine, and not at risk for having another stroke.
This doctor was very smart, charming, helpful. She made it clear I had better haul my butt to the doctor myself, given that Max inherited said mutations from me (how awfully adorable, we have matching blood mutations). Max was very pleased to have his blood pressure taken, he LOVES that machine, I may have to get him one for his birthday.
As the doctor was examining him, to distract Max I started doing my usual ice-cream routine:
Me: "Does Max like vanilla ice-cream?"
Me: "Does Max like strawberry ice-cream?"
Me: "Does Max like...CHOCOLATE ice-cream?"
Max [vigorously shaking his head up and down and grinning like a loon]: "YES!"
The doctor looked at me and said, "Oh! He has a sense of humor."
OUCH. I mean, COME ON! The kid has cerebral palsy, but one of the symptoms of cp is not incapacitated sense of humor.
It drives me nuts when people—let alone doctors!—don't understand that someone with physical disabilities can have a completely intact personality.
Max may not walk or use his hands perfectly, he may not talk fluently, but inside that body lies one fully-functioning, full-blown personality.
Ever deal with misguided assumptions about your child's capabilities?
Posted by Ellen Seidman at 12:19 AM