Dear Parents,

Parenting is probably one of the most controversial topics in society… But I’m gonna tackle this one the best I can. 

I know I’m not a parent but here’s my perspective. 
Raising a child with a disability takes a toll financially, physically, emotionally, and mentally on any parent. You gotta get the right medical equipment: wheelchair, breathing machines, orthopedic braces… You obviously are going to want to find the best doctors for your child to live as healthy and strong as possible. You have to stay strong and can’t give up. It’s tough. It is….
But that’s one aspect of the child’s wellbeing. Next, there’s the actual growing part. Here’s where the arguments may stir up. 
Some parents need to realize what exactly their child’s disability is affecting. I cannot stand seeing some of these parents treating their child, who has a muscular dystrophy or whatever physical disability, as if they have something mentally wrong with them. It’s sickening to see these parents think their child is “special” or “inspirational” or “a hero” because they’re growing up with a disability. I do not agree with parents when they think their child has accomplished some amazing thing just because they’re growing up a little differently. They’re still growing. And learning. And playing. And you do not need to “over-baby” them with every movement they make. I get parents want the best for their child, but treating them as if they are puppies or trophy children is going to affect them negatively in the long run. They’ll grow up sheltered and scared of the outside world alone. They’ll think they’re not capable of doing anything on their own. They’ll depend on you more than they should. And lastly, they won’t live a normal life if the parent does not give them one. 
My mom never once treated me any differently or special because of my disability. I still got slapped when I was a brat and my brother still pulled and yanked my hair when we fought. She pushed me to go out on my own and take public transportation.  My mom has always fought for me to get treated just as equally as the next able bodied guy and she raised me to believe that I can do anything independently. She never babied me. She never held my hand every time I needed it. And she sure as shit does not think I’m inspiring anyone in this world. 
A child with a disability has just as much potential as any other child, these parents need to stop acting like their child’s disability makes them some sort of different or special  person. Just THINK about if you would say the same things about your child if he/she did not have a disability. 
My point is…some parents need to see that their child can grow up to be independent and successful even with a disability… It’s the parents job to teach and guide them. Not do it for them. And certainly not to treat a child who is 7 as if the child were 3. 
I don’t necessarily want to tell parents how to raise their child. All I’m saying is that I would not be where I am today if my mom spent every waking day by my side to make sure she was there to clean up any of my messes. And she definitely did not raise me thinking that I’m better than anyone else just because I have a disability that I have to live with. She made sure I was healthy, found me expert doctors, made sure I was okay medically… And lastly she raised ME, not my disability.  

 

Fill Your Glass

There are two kinds of people with disabilities.
The ones that find the optimism in their abilities, rather than limitations, and advocate the fact that their disability does not define them as a person.
And then there are the ones who are very adamant that their life sucks whether the optimists choose to believe it or not, BECAUSE of their disability. 

Now, here’s the real reality of it.
Yes. You were born with a disability.
Yes. It does make you “different” than the majority.
Yes. You are going to have to depend on others for some things.
Yes. In some cases, there is no cure.
YES. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
No. Your life does not suck due to your disability. 

 Some of these pessimists also feel the need to announce to the world how badly their disability has affected their lives in a negative way. That to me is just a cry for attention. 

Here’s the way I see it…

There comes a time in someone’s life where they learn to accept who they are. And what they are. And where they’re going. Having a disability is just that. Something that needs to be accepted. Some people have trouble losing weight. Some people have trouble gaining weight. Some people hate their height. And some people can’t undo the fact that they have a disability. But it’s something we can’t change about ourselves. 

I believe that some people are so focused on the negatives that it completely eliminates the positives. 

I’m actually really glad that I was born with a disability. If it weren’t for my disability… I would not have the same personality. Or the same friends. Or the same mind process. Or the same dreams. I wouldn’t be Sawsan…

If I were to quickly forget the fact that I have a disability, I would think about how fucking amazing my life is. It might not be as easy as the next guys… But who said life was easy? Everyone has their own personal struggles, having a disability just makes ours a little more noticeable to the naked eye. 

Wheelchairs As Props…

I recently read an article involving disabled characters in movies who are not actually disabled and it got me thinking.
No. Actually. I’ve thought about this on multiple occasions.
Reading the article just made me realize how livid it makes me to see someone PLAY a disabled person. Like cmon, are there really not enough disabled individuals in the world to be an actor? Or do the real people with disabilities not have the potential? Or are the producers just lazy fucks and take the easy way out?
I’m sure these are all factors on some level but fuck that.
When I was little I had a dream that I wanted to become an actress. I wanted to be like Hannah Montana and Lizzie McGuire. I wanted the fame. I wanted everyone to know my name.
Scratch that. I still want to be famous. And I do want everyone to know my name. But acting may not exactly be my strong suit.
Anyways.

My point and message to the media world is that people with disabilities should play people with disabilities. Because when people like Eddie Redmayne WALK across that stage to accept a Golden Globe because he’s amazing at faking a disability he doesn’t have, it’s pretty insulting. Now I may be overreacting, but at the same time… I very highly doubt that in the casting call it said they were looking for someone preferably with a physical disability.

Try this on for size:

I found a casting call for a new that’s going to start shooting this summer. This is what the casting call says:
“Lead* Brian 30- 50 year old male preferably not athletic, office workeresque body. *must be able to swim* 35 ish white Male who just lost his job, his girlfriend broke up with him and his life is in shambles. He is a functional alcoholic, sci fi computer, and is a gaming nerd that goes to the sci fi / gaming convention circuits and hits the Renaissance faire and does what he can to escape”

Descriptive isn’t it? I actually wonder what Stephen Hawking’s casting call looked like. I’m sure there are disabled people in the world who want to be on the big screen.

Upon some small research I found out that Redmayne didn’t even get auditioned for the part. He was just offered it and accepted.
COME ON.
That’s not even giving others a chance. What if there were a swarm of people with disabilities lined up at the door waiting to audition for the part! I guess now we’ll never know..

I just want to see some more real disabled people in the media. To show that we do exist, we do live, and we do normal things. The media is the best way to send a message. And right now, the message people get about disabled people is sort of twisted. Our voices are little right now. And that needs to change.