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‘Actually it’s a wheelchair’
 

FireflyCommunity

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Joined: 2014-10-13 Posts: 65
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Following on from this blog post -

http://community.fireflyfriends.com/blog/article/actually-its-a-wheelchair

We’d love to hear how you deal with situations when you’re questioned on whether your child has a disability from using GoTo Shop Trolley, Disabled Toilets, Wheelchair spaces on public transport?

 

16 October 2016 11:39 PM # 1

Healing Heart

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Joined: 2014-10-10 Posts: 701
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Almost eight years later and I’m still addressing “it’s not a stroller” it’s a “wheelchair.”  I swear perhaps some people think that they are being kinder by calling it a stroller than just saying it’s a wheelchair?  I mean what eight year old is still in a stroller?  It’s obvious he has a disability and can’t walk, talk, crawl, sit or self-feed.  Yet, he is cognitively very aware and I’m sure he himself is annoyed that people keep referencing his wheelchair as a baby stroller… 

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Everyday Holds the Possibility of a Miracle

01 November 2016 09:58 AM # 2

sarahbrisdion

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Joined: 2015-02-10 Posts: 32
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Fortunately as my son now uses his wheelchair for most things it doesn’t come up as much anymore, but we really used to struggle in his special needs wheelchair and surprisingly on his Special Needs trike - people would really stare!

I had one lady in a the supermarket tell me I should just let my son walk around the shop if he was that upset about sitting in a trolley! (He was having a meltdown at the time!). I scowled a little at her and said “he’s disabled and he can’t walk!” and then hated myself for saying it in front of him.

We take a photocopy of the blue badge (both sides) and his higher rate DWP mobility proof in the car with us now in case we are questioned. Most of the time people then seem a little embarrassed.

To be honest, it doesn’t bother me personally if people ask for proof as I look at it that they are making sure people are not abusing whatever service you might be trying to access. What’s hard though, is that my little boy really doesn’t like it when people ask or talk about his disability. He gets very self conscious and that’s upsetting.

We went to an adventure theme park once with my son (who has Cerebral Palsy) and my nephew (who also has Cerebral Palsy). My son was in his special needs pushchair and my nephew was on my son’s special needs trike as he was tired and so the trike would help him stay safe, as that day he was very unstable on his feet, and the woman on the till questioned us twice about whether they were both disabled. My dad got a bit cross and said “what do you want us to do, take them both out of the equipment and show you how they are not mobile or stable?” She waved us through then.

I think people who have never lived with disability just have no idea how to ask or how to use a bit of common sense. Businesses should really be training staff to act appropriately and how to discreetly discuss such things.

14 December 2016 05:21 PM # 3

Healing Heart

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sarahbrisdion - 01 November 2016 09:58 AM

Fortunately as my son now uses his wheelchair for most things it doesn’t come up as much anymore, but we really used to struggle in his special needs wheelchair and surprisingly on his Special Needs trike - people would really stare!

I had one lady in a the supermarket tell me I should just let my son walk around the shop if he was that upset about sitting in a trolley! (He was having a meltdown at the time!). I scowled a little at her and said “he’s disabled and he can’t walk!” and then hated myself for saying it in front of him.

We take a photocopy of the blue badge (both sides) and his higher rate DWP mobility proof in the car with us now in case we are questioned. Most of the time people then seem a little embarrassed.

To be honest, it doesn’t bother me personally if people ask for proof as I look at it that they are making sure people are not abusing whatever service you might be trying to access. What’s hard though, is that my little boy really doesn’t like it when people ask or talk about his disability. He gets very self conscious and that’s upsetting.

We went to an adventure theme park once with my son (who has Cerebral Palsy) and my nephew (who also has Cerebral Palsy). My son was in his special needs pushchair and my nephew was on my son’s special needs trike as he was tired and so the trike would help him stay safe, as that day he was very unstable on his feet, and the woman on the till questioned us twice about whether they were both disabled. My dad got a bit cross and said “what do you want us to do, take them both out of the equipment and show you how they are not mobile or stable?” She waved us through then.

I think people who have never lived with disability just have no idea how to ask or how to use a bit of common sense. Businesses should really be training staff to act appropriately and how to discreetly discuss such things.

That is really hard because our children are cognitively aware so they understand the conversation - even when it’s about them and what they can or cannot do, and they certainly understand when someone is being unkind in their direction.  I haven’t really had too many people ask me his abilities - I suppose now he looks very disabled that they just assume he can do “nothing.” Which hurts too - perhaps I’d appreciate it if they did ask!  HA.  (in a very polite way of course).  People need to be better trained on how to approach children like ours for sure.

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23 January 2017 09:21 PM # 4

firefly8761

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Joined: 2017-01-23 Posts: 1
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“Das ist eigentlich ein Rollstuhl”...different country, different language, same problem, same sentence.
Our solution was to paste a disabled bagde on the backside. It saves us a lot of explaining and, what I like even less, dissaproving looks.

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