The joy of curiosity
Posted Nov 30, 2017 by Jacquie Robison
Recently, WAWOS was contacted by a community of young girls and their leader, who are interested in sewing walker capes. They had learned about our non-profit and agreed they'd like to get involved.
It was a joyful email to receive, but that was just the beginning of the joy. The leader had encouraged the girls to come up with questions, and it turned out that they had fewer questions about the sewing project and more about the disability. Great! A big part of the WAWOS mission is to embrace difference and see beauty in uniqueness. Engaging in conversation is the first step.
Starfish Therapies produced this short video about physical therapy — my daughter Sofia is in it — and there are many other kiddos, some of whom are more severely impacted by developmental delays.
It's a terrific tool to start a discussion with your own kids (and adults!) Some of my thoughts for reflection and discussion after watching the video:
-Wow. There are a wide range of differences among these kids (there is a saying ‘when you meet one person with Cerebral Palsy, you’ve only met one person with CP!’) The same is true of Downs Syndrome and many other developmental disabilities. These kids are individuals first and have a disability second (or third!) Our girl says ‘Cerebral Palsy is the least interesting thing about me’.
-Challenge yourself to see the hard work these kids are doing to try and achieve a motor skill (ie: jumping) that came easily to you. In my experience, when fully able kids shift their lens a little, they become much more empathetic and encouraging of otherly-abled children
-How does it feel to watch these kids? How would you feel to be in a room with them? It’s completely natural for people to reply ‘uncomfortable’ or ‘I wouldn’t know what to say’. I believe raising strong, confident and thoughtful children means having them sit with feelings that are new and uncertain. Ask them to imagine they are one of those kids. It’s a powerful exercise!
**Quick clarifying note about Sofia's answer to ‘what is CP?’ It does make it difficult for your muscles to move, but it’s actually a neurological condition. So, there’s nothing wrong with the muscle, but rather the signal from the brain to the muscle is jumbled or not connected. The result is that it makes it difficult to move, or the movements are jerky and spastic.**
Share your questions and thoughts about the video in our comments. Let's keep the discussion going.