We received Enfys’ walking frame a few weeks ago and finally got to take her for an actual walk in an actual park. It was inspiring. At last Enfys has independence. Since her walking frame arrived in the family, she has been attempting to walk away from. Attempting to let go of whatever she is holding on to. She has realised that being on her feet is a good place to be.
However, I have a hurdle I need to jump. I’m kind of clipping the bar with my toes at the moment. I need to normalise my child having a walking aid. This hurdle is directly connected with coping with a diagnosis. I honestly never expected any child of mine not being anything other than average. I’m not conceited but things like that didn’t happen to people like me, until they did.
I never expected to have a child with a ‘disability’. It’s such a hard term to deal with, it has negative connotations. It implies that the person has something wrong with them. I’m not even sure if Enfys has a disability.
She has an immune deficiency – is this a disability? She isn’t able to fight of infections as easily as most, so maybe it is.
She has hypermobility, but is this a disability? Potentially, we have to see what the future holds.
She has a walking aid. Does this alone label her as ‘disabled’?
What does disability mean?
Let’s have a look at the meanings of disabled and disability a little more closely.
The ‘dis’ in both words is a prefix. It changes the meaning of the word behind it. So ‘dis’ means not, the opposite of.
Ability means the ‘possession of the means or skill to do something’. e.g I have the ability to read and write.
Abled means ‘having the full range of physical or mental abilities; not disabled’.
Thinking about the opposite of ability we have the meaning of ‘disability’.
“The lack of the means or skill to do something’. Enfys does not have the skill to walk unaided so she does have a disability.
Therefore, Enfys can be considered as being disabled because she does not have the full range of physical abilities she should have at her age. For Enfys her lack of skill to walk is more than likely only temporary. The walking frame is here to stay for the moment. I need to jump the hurdle of having a child with a disability.