What would you have said?


(Trisha Faye) #1

I was at a party lastnight having a discussion about finding a pre-school for my son with diabetes and the importance of having a nurse and teacher who want to care for him without being forced to (it's important to me, anyway) and blah, blah, blah.....  A gentleman there innocently referred to my son as being disabled. I got defensive, but not angry and said "He is not disabled." So the gentleman said "Challenged, then." Again, I felt defensive and said "I wouldn't call him challenged either." So, he asked me what I would call it. I was at a loss for words and that doesn't happen often. My husband came to my rescue and said "He's a kid who needs insulin." My poor husband, he couldn't say much because he is this guy's boss.

Here it is the next day and I still have no idea what I should have said, or if I should have said anything. I don't see my son as disabled at all, but I agree that it is a challenge, yet I don't see him as being challenged. I hope that makes sense. Somebody, anybody, tell me how to better handle future conversations like these.


(Woo Its Pat) #2

I can also agree how it would be (and is) a challenge to live with diabetes. But it is only that when you first get diagnosed I believe. After living with it for a prolonged amount of time, it just becomes part of your life and not so much a "challenge." Does it change the way we live? Sure...but is it a challenge? Not at all. I like how your hubby handled it though.


(thebeatles909) #3

you have a right to be defensive diabetics are not disabled we are completely normal.


(meme) #4

It would have depending on the day  and maybe the years with d--Knowing me-I would have left and went home and cried.Then pulled it together and told him as I did once to someone--My child is not disabled. Thoughtless remark he made--maybe next time he will think..


(akoster) #5

I disagree. I have had diabetes for 8 years and it is still a challenge every day/


(akoster) #6

(In response to Pats statement about diabetes only being a challenge when you are first diagnosed.)


(Woo Its Pat) #7

[quote user="Ariana"]

(In response to Pats statement about diabetes only being a challenge when you are first diagnosed.)

[/quote]

I didn't mean to generalize. I guess now I just have accepted it as a part of my life and don't really think about it as a hindrence or anything like that. I apologize if I offended you or anyone else with that statement


(JDVsMom) #8

Technically, because diabetes is covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act - I don't think he was wrong in saying 'disabled'. It is the ADA and provisions that require that the school provide the care your son needs while he's there - so we kind of have to accept that label.

You could say "he has special needs" That is what many other kids with a variety of disabilities are referred to. "Special needs kids"

 


(BrianPQuinn) #9

I think it is the stereotype of the word disabled or the word challenged that is offensive. I mean technically, your son is challenged in the strictest sense. I though would have gotten irritated as well. I never would allow anyone to call me challeneged or disabled. However, as others have said to the definition of the term those of us who are persons with type one diabetes, the man was right. I like your husbands answer though. The very fact that your son needs insulin is kinda like saying that I need glasses. While not a perfect explanation. I just see my insulin as being one thing that I do daily and don't let things get in the way otherwise.


(Matthews Dad) #10

How about "do you feel challenged going thru life with your lobotomy". But that is just me lol

No need to even provide an answer.


(Trisha Faye) #11

[quote user="JDVsMom"]

You could say "he has special needs" That is what many other kids with a variety of disabilities are referred to. "Special needs kids"

[/quote]

I have used the term "special needs" before, but it's too general and often misleading. I prefer to make it clear that he has "medical needs" and describe him as just needing more care and attention than some other children require.

Hmm. Too bad I didn't think of that lastnight.


(ChrisMom) #12

Labels get us all in trouble. In my mind, if we want to make sure our kids get what they need in school, in jobs, and in other areas of life -- we sort of need to accept the term "disabled" in the strictest sense. When we need the school to abide by the plan, we need to rely on that distinction.

In normal life though, no one really likes the terminology. It does give us an opportunity to educate people about what Type 1 Diabetes is though. Is it hard to deal with? Yes. Is it manageable? Yes. Can bad things happen because of it? Yes.

I have been frustrated lately with people who think they understand when their only point of reference is Type 2. ugh.

I think you guys handled it fine. Using labels is risky -- with anyone.

 


(system) #13

How about, Why yes he's insulin challenged, carb  challenged what ever. At least he is not brain challenged. While saying this look them right in the eyes and smile real big, maybe a wink and walk away.LOL


(Trisha Faye) #14

You guys crack me up. It wasn't the right time or place to use your comebacks lastnight, but I'll try to work them in sometime. ; )  (I'm talking to Keith and Keith221.)


(meme) #15

Now you got me laughing !!!  Thanks Keith !


(meme) #16

Both Keith's !


(AmandaPowell) #17

Ive always referred to myself as insulin dependent. I feel like its much more accurate and doesn't put us in "special needs" or "disabled" categories.


(system) #18

[quote user="Trish"]

You guys crack me up. It wasn't the right time or place to use your comebacks lastnight, but I'll try to work them in sometime. ; )  (I'm talking to Keith and Keith221.)

[/quote]

If you laughed while reading, I did my job!!!LOL

 


(Maikuru) #19

I would say that we have rights and that required us to be classified as disabled or that our health as placed diffuclties in our lie that place us a t a disavantage compared to normal healthy people.  I know that i have personally been discriminated both in school growing up and at various places of employment becuase of my health issues with diabetes. It doesn't mean that we are weaker then others but for me rather just means we are tougher and have been through more then most normal people. So i wear it like i a soldier wears their stripes and medals. I take pride in my efforts in life and i don't let anyone try play my health conditions off as a weakness or inconvience. If it was my son i would say that yes he has diabetes and has to take shots to stay healthy and that that he makes me proud.


(chelseajdrf88) #20

I understand 100% on where you are coming from. Granted, I don't have children yet, but I once was a child who didnt want to be known as disabled. At the end of the day though, type 1 diabetics are covered under the American with disabilities act...So, diabetics are classified as being "disabled"...I look at it more as an  "obstacle" and a disease I one day hope to win!