Friday, March 9, 2012

Disability doesn't = inability

I recently read an article posted on Facebook about a boy with Down Syndrome that is in college and was impressed by his drive and desire to be a college graduate. An amazing thing happens when you decide that your disability is not going to hold you back.

I am more amazed by how many people are astounded that my son, who has Asperger's, has been accepted into Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island. They are actually amazed or surprised that he would be accepted and I am more amazed and surprised and think I WHY NOT! 

I mean really, he has a disability but that does not mean he has an inability. He is incredibly smart. Yes, he some times lacks social graces and is crass at times but does that mean he should not go to college? Yes he often times is less mature than my 14 year old and sometimes my 7 year old but does that mean he's not able? No.

It means there is a lot more work for him to do than others. Just because he may be exempt from certain things or have modifications doesn't mean he does not work just as hard as the "average" person. There are things that we do with ease that we take for granted while he struggles to do them. The physical act of putting a pen on paper is one of them. Running is another. He has to work twice as hard, if not harder, to do these "average" tasks. His body exerts more energy doing these things than the "average" person which makes him tire a lot faster. In my opinion, he works harder.

People should not be surprised to see or hear of someone who has a disability accomplishing things like going to college, driving, holding down a job, or having a family.

Truly the question is, if you haven't done any of these things, what's your excuse?