Banning the D-word, because ability matters more

I recently attended a charity conference and sat through a talk about Disability Living Allowance. And I have to admit, I tuned out. Many of the people there were entitled to it, and no doubt rely on it to support their family. But not only do I not believe in claiming for anything if you don’t need to, I think claiming would open a whole other can of worms.

By claiming for Kitty, we’d be applying a label; one I don’t want to define her, in her eyes or other people’s.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t object to the words ‘disabled’ or ‘disability’. There are people who need those classifications to get the help and support they need; but I don’t want them to be in our family’s vocabulary. I really think not categorising our little girl is key to her self-esteem.

Of course Kitty’s different and of course, people will sometimes treat her differently because of her arm. But I want other things – like being kind, funny, clever and determined – to define who Kitty is.

I want her to hear, every single day, positive words that make her feel good about herself. For her to then use those words to describe herself and believe them. And I never want her to give up before she’s even tried because of someone else’s classification.

Although she can’t read yet, I’ve found a quote I’m going to hang on our wall.

‘She believed she could, so she did’

Now it’s our job to find those magic words that will make her believe. And the D-word definitely won’t be one of them.

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What am I? Cheeky and charming!

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