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To wish I could hang a sign on dd or her wheelchair saying "Yes,I am disabled,please DON'T stare"

48 replies

MavisEnderby · 28/05/2011 23:59

Don't get me wrong,the majority of people are lovely but today AAAARGGGHHH

Lots of starers,and she wasn't even kicking off!

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lisad123 · 29/05/2011 00:02

get one that says "keep staring it might make me walk, then I can come and kick you"

kimkims · 29/05/2011 00:04

Keep staring and it might make me walk!

Love it!

Vallhala · 29/05/2011 00:04

YANBU. From small children, yes, it's understandable but should still be dealt with appropriately, politely and tactfully by the adult in charge. Grown-ups, unless of course SN, have no excuse.

MavisEnderby · 29/05/2011 00:05

:) the thing is she is quite lucky in that she CAN walk!short distances but hey!I dunno.I probably abu but it got to me today (small people are excused due to natural childlike curiosity)

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Gooseberrybushes · 29/05/2011 00:07

I would do it, just for a day, see what happens Grin

Here's my take: I don't know whether it's rude to look or not to look, I get confused. I don't know whether not looking is construed as making someone invisible, and looking would be staring and making uncomfortable.

But then, that's my confusion, and not the responsibility of the parent or person in the chair.

Glitterknickaz · 29/05/2011 00:07

I would like some kind of sign like that for DS2

MavisEnderby · 29/05/2011 00:10

I would much rather people asked me questions if it was in a situation where we were together for a period,ie on a bus/train or something.Its just when someone stares and stares.Ususally I try to fix them with a very bright smile and make eye contact.grr just a bad day i think!!!

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Gooseberrybushes · 29/05/2011 00:13

ok I'll take a bit of advice action here from experienced people

I'm a grown up, I know not to stare


with adults in wheelchairs with pushers I will say excuse me (etc whatever) to the person in the chair first and then the pusher, is this rude, right, wrong, patronising etc

with children I wouldn't really look I suppose, at all

am I doing the right thing

Gooseberrybushes · 29/05/2011 00:14

oh mavis so a bit of chit chat is ok even if you ask about the bairn?

Gooseberrybushes · 29/05/2011 00:15
  • why????
Numberfour · 29/05/2011 00:15

Gooseberrybushes, you put it in a nutshell for me! Is looking rude or is not looking tantamount to ignoring the individual? but I agree - it's my problem and my responsibility. It would be useful, though, to know what the "right" thing is to do.


whatever17 · 29/05/2011 00:17

I always smile at the wheelchair user and the carer but I don't know if that is the right thing to do.

Does it seem like I am smiling at them only because they are in a wheelchair. Really my smile is just to say "hello" but sometimes I feel awkward.

Also, if the child is verbal and engaging me at all I would make a genuine effort to be responsive. I would with any kid really who chats to me.

Vallhala · 29/05/2011 00:18

I don't know if I handled it completely in the wrong way but I recall DD1, at about 3, asking why the lady was in a pushchair and why she had had no legs. Right in front of the lady. Blush

Ground, open up now!

I was lost, no experience so went for completely honest. Explained to DD1 that the lady was poorly, that she may have always been poorly or may have had an accident as a grown-up but either way it was rude to ask just as it would be rude for the lady to ask why DD has blonde hair and not black.

The lady was a gem. She smiled at us, said "Don't worry darling, children WILL be curious" and went on to tell DD that she had been made poorly some years before and that was why she was now as she was. DD was polite and seemed, in her 3 year old way, to be understanding, the lady made ME feel at ease and DD never asked or looked likely to distress a disabled person again.

I owe that generous lady a heck of a lot.

whatever17 · 29/05/2011 00:18

Ah - I don't mean I feel awkward - I meant I don't want to appear patronising when I am not trying to be.

WillyBumBalls · 29/05/2011 00:18

YANBU I have a friend in a wheelchair and notice people staring all the time.

I do get a bit confused though as thankfully my son almost 5 does'nt seem to notice or atleast does'nt mention disabilities but if he did I am not quite sure how I would deal with it as in my head I think well if you want to know ask but then that would be drawing attention and bothering someone because of their disability. At the same time though I hate the thought of giving a stiupid explanation and the person thinking that I am completely ignorant toward it.

MavisEnderby · 29/05/2011 00:20

I think itsa the real gawpers that get to me.The people who have a quick glance,analyse the situation and think oh hey,person in wheelchair,fine,those that engage in conversation,again,fine,its pleasant people show an interest,but its those that stare,and stare and stare and believe me it happens.fgs surely a wheelchair isn't that bizarre?

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Glitterknickaz · 29/05/2011 00:20

Valhalla surely that's better than just looking agog though.
I don't think people stare at DS2 cos he's in a wheelchair, I think it's because he grimaces, makes noises and hand flaps.

If they want to know, ask!

ApocalypseCheeseToastie · 29/05/2011 00:21

Does she get the pats on the head too ??

My nephew is a wheelchair user (which he also has a habit of breaking out of and sprinting off in some kind of little Britain type sketch ) He isn't physically disabled in anyway but does have severe autism so he's in there for safetys sake. Anyways on holiday last week people kept patting him on the head, WTF is that all about ??!

Gooseberrybushes · 29/05/2011 00:22

Val it's v much outside my experience and want to do the "right thing" but then I suppose everybody's different and the right thing for one person might be upsetting for another.

Actually I suppose even my question pre-supposes that everyone with a disability is "the same" and will react the same way. So \i've already lost points.

Intentions good, delivery poor I guess in my case.

Gooseberrybushes · 29/05/2011 00:23

Gawpers must be awful. It's ghastly to be stared at under any circs.

MavisEnderby · 29/05/2011 00:25

Oh and Valhalla had similar situation before dd was born with ds,"Mummy"why has that man got only one arm?"The bloke was LOL at him,then gave him a blow by blow child friendly account of why he needed amputation!!(he was lovely)

Children tell it like it is,I have had several children question me about dd,they are being naturally curious.

Its just adults who should know better really.

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whatever17 · 29/05/2011 00:25

Mavis - what about those who chat about the weather to you and you know that they may not have chatted to you if you didn't have a child in a wheelchair? Is that irritating?

Vallhala · 29/05/2011 00:29

Me too, Gooseberry, I think we got "lucky" in meeting a disabled lady who was understanding of a child's curiosity, It could so easily have gone wrong and the wheelchair-bound person could have been offended by my attempts at handling the situation.

I don't in any way recommend what I did, am just explaining what happened and the outcome. I'd have been mortified if I had offended.

One thing I do make an effort to do is speak to the PERSON IN THE CHAIR not just the carer. For example, if I step back in a supermarket and nearly crash into a person in a wheelchair, my smile and apology is to THEM and then the carer.

It DOES make me feel awkward as I have no experience of the wheelchair-bound but as others have said, that is MY problem, not theirs. Would be grateful for advice.

MavisEnderby · 29/05/2011 00:30

Not at all,but then even before dd I always had random people on buses or whatnot chatting to me,elderly,small children...guess I have one of those faces lol!

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Punkatheart · 29/05/2011 00:30

My late father was a paraplegic and the worst thing was people talking to my mother, not him. Old ladies would say 'How are his bowels, dear?' as if he was mentally impaired as well. It certainly taught me a different world going out and about with him.....just how stupid and actually sometimes cruel people could be...

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