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A disabled child is an opportunity

Wed, 07/18/2012 - 12:09 -- admin

After nine months of anxiety, patience, anticipation and dreaming, when your child is born blind, or visually impaired, it is but natural for you to feel disappointed, frustrated and, maybe, even a little cheated. This was perhaps the last thing you had expected or bargained for.

Parents crave for a beautiful child, a child they could love, care for and be proud of. You too must have had your dreams, which may have been shattered by the birth of a disabled child. Your emotions and disappointments are understandably overwhelming, but remember that the child is your own. He is a special gift from God conceived by love.

The child needs your affection, tenderness and care. He has a future and he needs you to mould it for him. The child has to grow up and face the ups and downs of the competitive world. You have to ensure that he can do it on his own because you might not be there for him forever. Hence the sooner you put your disappointments and frustrations behind you, the better it is for both your child and for you.

To begin with, start loving your child. Let the child know that you care for him. Hold the child close to your body, let your parental instincts flow. You will soon find the child responding. Love and care go a long way in giving your child emotional strength and confidence.

You must meet your paediatrician and other specialists to assess the extent of your child’s disability and also explore the possibility of any form of correction that might mitigate the situation. If medical science can help, nothing like it but once the doctors tell you that no correction is possible, then you need to accept the reality and focus on how best you can bring up your child so that he may lead as complete and as independent a life as possible.

Read books related to your child’s disability, meet parents of children with similar problems. Collect all the information you can on the subject. Meet as many people as you can who have a child with the same problem as yours. Find out how they have handled life. You could well meet people who have failed to deal with the problem, but this should not dampen your spirit. On the other hand, look at it as a learning experience and treat it as a preview to the difficulties that lie ahead.

A disability is God given, it is natural, it becomes a handicap only when seen in a social context. As parents your task is to work towards minimising the situations where the disability becomes a handicap.

It is critical to recognise the limitations brought upon your child by a disability. The child must then be nurtured to play the game of life within his limitations. Further, the child must learn to accept these limitations that are special to him, as a part of life. If Ved Mehta can be a top-notch writer, despite being visually disabled; and if David Blunkett can be the home secretary in Tony Blair’s government, despite his visual impairment then why can’t your child be an achiever too?

Making your child a champion is your challenge. Bringing up your disabled child should not be seen as a sacrifice on your part, it should be taken as an expression of your love and commitment. See it as an opportunity that God has given you and not as an ordeal. It should not be seen as a burden you are carrying, it should be seen as a mission you have set out to accomplish.

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