We're all different. That is what makes us unique. So when many will say just that, and how beautiful different is, then why are there so many stereotypes, social stigmas and generalizations made about people with disabilities?
If you are reading this blog, you likely have a connection to a person with epilepsy. Our son, Caleb, dealt with the sterotyping of "Autism" when he was first diagnosed with that, and then we dealt with seizures and Epilepsy. Once he was too weak, and we had to use a wheelchair for him- most people were kind, but they talked as though he weren't there. Before the wheelchair days, I'm not sure what they thought...I usually focused on Caleb and helping him- instead of dealing with the looks, and negativity. I am a pretty thick skinned person- however, it is difficult to deal with glaring eyes, sighs, and "deal with your child" looks when things aren't going well. But, I quickly decided to not care about what others thought, and do what I needed to do- which was take care of Caleb. His needs came first- regardless of where we were, what was going on, or who was around. We did not restrict what we did with others, as long as he could tolerate it physically. We in fact did as much as possible with him for as long as we could- just not putting his health at risk.
Different is okay, in fact in our experience, without different, without Epilepsy we would not have met some very beautiful people that helped us through our journey. Caleb's journey was full of difficulties, but he taught us so much from his short life. Learning to live, to find joy in simple things, to smile and cherish it, to be grateful for all we are so bountifully blessed with, to find hope in the darkness and to believe that different really is beautiful- these are just some of the many lessons we have been so blessed to make a part of our every day living.
Epilepsy should not claim you, it should not define you or your loved one-- no disability should. Hold up the hands of the child or family member with disabilities, treat them with love and respect, insist that others around them treat them with love and respect. Teach others about Epilepsy, find ways to share information. Be the Blessing.