Dear “Woman Trying Your Hardest To Pass By The Child With A Wheelchair,”

I get that you’re in a hurry. I get that the child in the hallway in a wheel chair in front of us is slowing you down. However, unless you have some medical emergency or need to poop, how about you just relax and stop making the handicapped child feel like he’s in the way. Firstly, I don’t care if he is, in fact, in your way. Nothing you have going on is ever going to be more important than that child’s dignity. EVER. See, the entire world and his own body are in his way. You are being rude. You are an adult, and you are treating a child with a disability as though he is less important than you are. And he’s not.

Secondly, even if you do have to poop, I still think you should wait your turn in the hallway. I think you should try your best to hold it, and if you have an accident, maybe it will be a humbling experience. Imagine how many accidents he’s probably had to endure because he couldn’t get to the bathroom in time because impatient people like you parked in the handicapped spot that was meant for his caregiver or because he’s trying to fit into a world made for people without handicaps. Imagine one slice of his life with me for a minute, will you?

Imagine you are six years old. Sure, you’re wearing a diaper… or rather a brief, I only said diaper because that’s what you would call it. However, you know how to control your bowels and, like any six year old, you don’t want to sit in poop. You don’t want to have to have someone help you clean up poop from you private parts. OK, so, imagine having to use the bathroom, but having to wait for someone else to park their car for you, go into a public restroom, only to discover it’s only pretending to be handicap accessible.  Then imagine trying to “hold it,” while your caregiver tries to wedge your wheel chair into the door of a bathroom stall, and lift you unassisted three feet to the toilet because the “handicap stall” isn’t actually suited for people in wheel chairs.

Then, imagine having to get assistance to actually sit on the toilet because the bar put in place for you to hold onto had gum and other substances smeared onto it because people are too lazy and disrespectful to use the trash can or the sink. Then, imagine that given the improper fitting and angle of the door, it has to be left open. Imagine that you are well aware of your own nakedness, because your brain is that of a fully functioning, self aware first grader. Imagine having to poop that way.

Then imagine having to do that every single day, because very few people ever even consider your needs.

Done imagining?

Now, instead of trying to rush around this child in the hallway in front of us, why don’t you take this time to thank your lucky stars that you don’t have to wear his shoes, appreciate what you do have, and wait your turn.

 

3 Comments

  1. HelenS

    Thank you so much for this post! In my other job (when I’m not doing Diaper Parties), I’m the coordinator of special education for a public school. I love each of the 113 children with special needs who I work with (this year alone), including 4 who are in wheelchairs. They are people… someone’s child… some of them are quite intelligent (one even tested into honors classes for middle school next year)… they all deserve RESPECT. I really wish more people were open-minded, patient, and loving with ALL children!

  2. Kim

    Pushing past people is just rude in general, wheelchair or not. How hard is it to just say, Excuse me, may I please get by?” or something to that effect. If one is already in the process of getting past said child in wheelchair, say excuse me! And thank you after one has passed by. Basic manners. If none of that works, wait!

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