It was all going so well…
The LimbBo foundation is growing: families and supporters worldwide, new ambassadors, an activity day in the pipeline, school visits, requests from researchers for support and we were all feeling really positive. The link below is a brief overview of LimbBo for those of you who don’t know us.
Then reality hit in the form of one adult male – who this morning stared at one of our children ‘because he was a freak’ – his exact words. My heart aches for a 4 year old told by a supposedly grown up that he is unacceptable. If I’d written this post earlier there may have been choice language but I’ve calmed down a little and had time to think.
Am I angry? Too right I am but anger isn’t the right response. Shame on the adult who said this – let’s be in no doubt he’s wrong but the reaction of Callum’s mum (who fortunately knows she has support) was the right one. An argument in front of Callum would have made the situation worse.
The positives – Callum is a happy, loving young man with a gorgeous ‘wee’ Scottish accent, a cheeky grin and a great line in hugs. His mum said we were worried about him and he sent us a video blowing us a kiss to reassure us. He has just produced his own video – ‘Morning everyone I’m Callum, I’m 4. I was born with a wee arm in my mummy’s tummy. I’m not strange I’m awesome’ Video link
I can’t tell you how proud I am of him. Our kids are awesome and cope with life, finding their own way – they do not need adults pouring scorn on them – it broke my heart. Callum embodies the enthusiasm for life our kids show – I can feel a t shirt campaign with the title of this blog written large!
I don’t know what the answer is. I think I’ve become naïve or complacent as I’m surrounded by people who love, care for and support our children, so stepping outside that comfort zone the world is a scary place.
What can we do? ( I do know that there are hundreds of different disabilities but I’m concentrating on limb difference here as that’s where my skill set lies)
I’m asking for your help here:
Raise awareness of limb difference – even if that’s just following LimbBo foundation on social media and sharing some of our posts
Twitter – @LBofoundation
Talk to your own children openly about differences and how it’s ok that we are all different
Check your school library – do you have any books there about limb difference (or any difference)
Use the language of inclusion -if you see injustice or name calling about a difference a child has then discuss it don’t just ignore it for fear of not having the right words.
I’m not sure we will change the attitude of this morning’s adult but we can develop the perceptions of our children who are basically a lot less judgemental than some adults
I know we are making an impact with LimbBo foundation but it seems we have a long way left to go, thank you to our supporters – we will keep going!
‘Every child deserves a champion’ Rita Pearson