The Stranger Comments
Rebecca, 27, blogs about life as a mother to four children (two with special needs) at A Mum Doing Her Best. Today, she talks to us about her daughter’s undiagnosed condition and some of the comments and remarks she receives about it.
As a parent you are always going to experience someone who wants to give you unwarranted help or advice. This doesn’t stop when you have disabled child. All of a sudden everyone you bump into knows of someone with a similar condition, or worse condition and that we should be trying this or that or the other.
My daughter has an undiagnosed condition, the consultants think they know which family her condition belongs in but they just keep coming to dead ends. No one knows why my daughter is the way she is, they can’t rule out life-limiting conditions, they can’t really say anything. She finds certain things impossible to do, some things hard and other daily activities easy. I have noticed that people tend to suddenly become a medical expert when they find this out.
For example, I mentioned to someone a few months ago that the doctors were considering a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy and her reply, “I know someone with proper Muscular Dystrophy she hasn’t got that.” Yes, she used the word proper, she is not medically trained and it made me feel so small.
I have so many people on a weekly basis saying:
Or my favourite:
I have learnt everyone is suddenly medically trained and knows better than my daughters team of consultants; I have learnt how to deal with these comments and to smile, nod, then walk away; that people give advice that actually could harm my child. Telling me to “just give her solids, nature will kick in and she will learn to eat it.”
I have also learnt I am a mother bear and will do anything to protect my child. I will teach her the qualities of grace and she will grow up knowing her differences are beautiful and what make her so special, so that if she ever has to deal with the negative comments of strangers she will know how to respond.Without a diagnosis or physically seeing some sort of equipment or a limb missing, people assume my daughter’s condition is not that bad - that instead of asking about the condition people will tell me what to do or what not to do.
Have you received any strange, bizarre or rude comments from strangers about your disability? How did you respond? Share your stories with us below.