It gets to me when parents with special kids lament that their kids can’t be like normal kids who go to school and get strings of A’s. They will say things like, “Yeah, my son is quite creative, BUT he is handicapped by his disability to read and write!” I say: Why should that be viewed as a disability?
A disability is a condition of the mind that resists all forms of learning. But the inability to read and write well does not mean that the child is disabled. He or she merely learns differently! The artistic child can see pictures that others can’t see. The musical child can hear music that others are deaf to. The imaginative child can create stories that normal kids just can’t imagine. We just need to help them find their voice, their language, their medium of communication and expression!
When I see kids, I see possibilities. Because a young mind is always eager to know, eager to explore and eager to learn!
But adults are quite different. Adults have their minds set in concrete cement, or sink into dangerous quicksand! They think they know best but in fact, they have little inkling about the world today, and how it is already evolving into a new future. I can see a lot of disabled people in the various ministries and departments that supposedly service the rakyat. These people have a major disability – and that is, the lack of basic ability to think and to do the right thing!
So, if your child lacks the ability to read and write, but learns in other ways that bring out his or her strengths and talents, this child is definitely not disabled. We should be worrying about the whole lot of people out there who are unable to behave in an intelligent or civilized manner, some of whom hold important positions that can have a direct effect on the future of the country!
The truly disabled are those who have vision but cannot see, those who have a mind but cannot think, and those with abled bodies but cannot act in a civil and beneficial manner. These are the truly disabled and who need to be rehabilitated so that they can be more productive and beneficial to society!