The World Doesn’t Bend for Disabled Kids (or Disabled Parents)
My kids have been kicked out of many, many places for being different—just like I was.
At age four, I’d been kicked out of our preschool carpool, and my mom was both ashamed and worried. She knew we needed help.
Did she put other kids in danger? Did she put herself in danger? Did she damage property?
Katie, that’s amazing
If she’s a good swim coach, she will know what to do.
That’s right, you make him do things.Why would you want to anyone do anything?
Well,That doesn’t sound easy at all.
Stubborn. Noncompliant. Talks out of turn.
My sons’ first piano teacher moved away. The second one died tragically young. My sons love playing piano. So I hired a third piano teacher. The other day, she quit after only three lessons, saying that my sons “aren’t interested in piano.” After I got over my devastation—the initial feelings of shame, embarrassment, and pain—I recognized her words for what they were.
She told me that she was at a cocktail party when the Mean Girls of Carpool informed her that I was no longer welcome in their station wagons.
Katie is a novelist, essayist, and law professor in Chapel Hill, NC. Her books include Life of the Mind Interrupted: Essays on Mental Health and Disability in Higher Education, Even If You're Broken: Essays on Sexual Assault and #MeToo, and the Hollywood Lights novels. In addition to Catapult, Katie has contributed to The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Toast, Dame Magazine, Women in Higher Education, and more. You can connect with Katie on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, all at @krgpryal, and on her blog at katieroseguestpryal.com.
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I’m not looking for a cure—not for my kids, and not for me. Any treatment we choose is merely a tool to help us enjoy our lives.
I think about the many invisible struggles, the empty places I have had to fill for my kids. The bridges I’ve had to build.
Unwritten social rules might as well not exist for me. The only reason I can read them at all is because I’ve forced myself to learn them.
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Being disabled means hundreds of thousands of people believe they always know better than you do.