Friday, July 30, 2010


The last time we met with Abby's social worker we discussed the option of getting a handicapped parking sticker for Abby. It is something that at first consideration I was opposed to. I don't think of Abby as handicapped or of needing that extra kind of accommodation. Because our wonderful social worker knows what she is doing I did a little thinking. When we go to a crowded store I carry Abby to and from the car. She weighs less than 25 pounds so it isn't that big a deal for me. For her it is another story. If I carry her she cries that Grace gets to walk. If I let her walk she ends up exhausted and whines through the whole shopping trip. You see, Abby tires VERY quickly. Walking for more than a couple minutes if it isn't first thing in the morning or right after nap wears her down. When she is worn down she falls.

She is getting older and bigger. She wants to walk when her sister does. She wants the same rights as every other kid her age. I decided to talk to her genetic counselor at CHOP and she was hugely in favor of it. She said that when you are weighing the stigma of parking in a handicapped space with the stigma of having to be carried or use a stroller they recommend you lean towards the closer parking space. She also reminded me that getting her used to these accommodations early will help her later on when they become more necessary.

So we have officially applied for a handicapped parking placard. I sent in the paperwork from the neurogeneticist with a lot of stress about it. (I know I am putting too much thought into something that should be very simple.) I plan to only use it when is absolutely necessary. I vow not to "take advantage" or take spots from people who can't be carried by their Mom.

I guess this whole thing stresses me out because it feels somehow like an admission that she has lifelong issues. That they aren't going away. That she will need things above and beyond what the typical person will need. I hate thinking that her future will be anything but "normal". It's just the Mom in me. The protective nature. I want to shield her from looks, comments, whispers, anything that makes her feel different. But she is different... in the most wonderful ways. I have to remember that!

1 comment:

  1. We have one too - and even though we do have a big honkin wheelchair, it still kind of looks like a stroller because she's only 2.5, and pretty small, and I STILL feel guilty about using handicapped spots because I can, literally, carry her if I need to. And then the rest of us pile out of the van, and it seems like we're taking the spot because we're selfish. I wish I didn't have one, but I use it sometimes, and in a couple years we'll have an adapted van, and then, well, then, I suppose maybe those looks will finally stop. Yay. (not really). Anyway, I don't think there has ever been a stigma with one, maybe I missed that lesson somewhere.