Sunday, March 15, 2015

Focusing on the ABILITY in DisABILITY

March is Disability Awareness Month.  March 21st is World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD).  It's a month to CELEBRATE!!!

We all have strengths, things we are good at and excel at.  We all have weaknesses, things we need to work harder on and improve in.  We ALL have both of these things.

Just because a person is really good at something that someone else isn't so skilled in, does that make either person better, or less than, the other other?  One person's strength is another person's weakness.  It's a great way to learn from one another.

As a society, we tend to look for things that are "wrong" with others, in a way to make ourselves feel better about our own weaknesses.  If someone doesn't know the answer to a "simple" question, it makes us feel smarter then they are.  If someone is heavier then you are, you feel better about your own self imagine standing next to that person.  If your kid is sitting quietly in his/her seat, while another kid is running around yelling and misbehaving, you feel like the better parent for "being able to control" your kid when someone else can't control theirs.

We need to stop seeing people for their weaknesses, and look deeper for their strengths.

Since this is a post about Disability Awareness Month, and WDSD, I wanted to focus on some of Sophia's strengths, or ABILITIES, that she brings to the table every day.

Sophia has the ABILITY to bring a smile to my face, even in the saddest of times.  Her innocence, and genuine sweetness, melts my heart to the core.

Sophia has the ABILITY to learn new and exciting things.  Even though it might take Sophia a little longer to learn new things, she can, and does, learn new things all the time!  Some of her recent accomplishments are; being potty trained, reading sight words, and becoming a more responsible five year old.

Sophia has the ABILITY to dance.  She has loved music since she was a baby.  Give her a nursery rhyme, she may give you her "mad face", but turn on some Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off", and she may just rip off her shirt and start bustin' a move!

Sophia has the ABILITY to love, unconditionally.  If she cares about you, she will come back to you over and over again, no matter how poorly you might treat her.  She doesn't judge others, everyone is equal in her eyes.  She forgives so easily, it's as if it never happened in the first place.  She will love you with her whole heart and soul today, tomorrow, and forever.

Sophia has the ABILITY to make friends everywhere she goes.  She's so darn cute, it's hard not to notice her.  She's also extremely friendly,  She says "Hieeee!" to everyone we pass, and isn't afraid to approach someone and give them a needed rub on the arm.  She just knows how to make people happy.

I could go on and on about what Sophia CAN do.  Some of her strengths are easy to see, some you have to work, invest some time in, in order to see them.  And of course she has her weaknesses too, but those weaknesses don't define Sophia, they only make her stronger.

Remember during Disability Awareness Month, and every other day of the year, we all bring important things to the table of life.  Just because one person's strength is another's weakness, we are all equal in deserving respect.

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