Friday, October 10, 2014

Inclusion, Something I Struggle With

Noah has every right to be included in his world. But, it's something I struggle with sometimes. For an example: Our church has been doing a new program called 3G, it takes place of Sunday School. It is more like children's church, it is a great opportunity for kids to learn about God. I took Noah this last week, for the most part he seemed to enjoy all the fun around him.
What I struggle with: it sometimes feels like Noah doesn't fit in anywhere. Do teens his age really see him as one of them?  Over the last couple of years, I've seen small changes on how Noah is accepted, but we have a long way to go.

When kids grow up with someone with a disability they see the person and not the disability. Noah's little cousins are a great example of that. They see him as the coolest kid in town and fight over who gets to sit beside him or who gets to push him.
Unlike the little girl who sat beside Noah during one of the games and kept moving her chair farther and farther away from him. It just hurts to see someone react that way to Noah and I wonder how much more I can do to help Noah to be included as well as accepted in his world.


Phil Dzialo said...

Wish I had an answer...been 16 years and all Adam's friends, our friends, family have disappeared....been dis-included. Fear? Indifference? Guilt? Their lives are so hard? Reluctance to get involved? Does involvement mean a perception of responsibility? Do some see our kids as less valuable, less important? Before I die, my one question that I want people to answer is Why did you run? Will give me peace...until then I wonder and I don't even care what the answer is, I don't care how awful it may seem to me....just give me an honest answer...why?

Leigh Oden said...

Phil, I think some people just don't know how to act or react to someone with a disability. Instead they just turn the other way. Maybe they think that you are too busy caring for your child and you no longer have time for adult relationships. I can't speak for others as to what they are thinking or why people have chosen to fall away from you. I do know that God made each of us and we are all wonderful and perfect in his sight. If someone doesn't want to be friends then I say that is their loss and you don't need them anyway. Surround yourself with those who accept you and your child.

I don't know how old your child is or where you live, but I would consider joining a 4H club. If you are in Richland County, Susan can hook you up with our club. We offer a program that is called Alpaca Buddies. We have several children who have different abilities get to show some of my alpacas at the fair. It is great fun and the kids who have taken the project get to be the helper for the child in a wheel chair.