Myth 6: you can always tell when someone has a disability

"Yes, my intelligent, socially capable, well-behaved walking child with all his limbs does, actually, have a disability. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it's not majorly affecting him every hour of his life." Mumsnetter BerthaTheBogCleaner

Invisible disabilities can include: physical and/or sensory impairments; learning disabilities; communication difficulties; and mental illnesses. Autism and learning disabilities are two examples of invisible disabilities. (Source: DLF)

Most mainstream school classes will include at least one child with a hidden disability. (Source: General Teaching Council for Scotland)

Disabled toilets (or other facilities for disabled people) are not just for people who use wheelchairs.

  • "My daughter (who has SEN) was bollocked in Selfridges by a man on crutches with a broken leg because she used the disabled toilets. There was a massive queue in the ladies and she cannot wait." MNBlackpoolandFylde

Parents of children with additional needs may use unusually large pushchairs - this isn't a 'yummy mummy' style statement, but a necessity.

  • "Maclaren Majors (and other special needs pushchairs) are the equivalent of a wheelchair for children. Parents generally cannot just fold them up like standard pushchairs on the bus - they should be allotted the wheelchair space just like any other wheelchair user." Trigglesx 
  • "I still use a parent-and-baby parking space at the supermarket for my daughter, who has mild cerebral palsy and tires easily. She's six and CAN walk, but that doesn't mean she finds it easy. Please don't give me dirty and hostile looks for using a space - your toddler can probably walk better than my six year old!" itsnothingoriginal

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August 2013

Last updated: 5 months ago