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I’m Disabled And People Have No Problem Telling Me This One Shocking Thing

The author, Sarah Pfohl, shares her experience of being disabled and how society's perceptions and comments have shaped her views on parenthood. Throughout her life, she encountered the repeated message that, due to her disabilities, she shouldn't want to have children. These beliefs were reinforced by medical professionals, educators, friends, and family, leading her to believe that being a parent would be unfitting for her.

As a child, she was told that she would never want to have children, and as she grew older, she internalized this idea. She worried about her physical limitations in parenting, focusing on aspects she couldn't perform, such as picking up a child or comforting them physically. This narrative protected her from going against societal norms, but it also shielded her from the possibility of being a parent.

An encounter with a geneticist who mentioned ensuring her future children wouldn't have her disability made her question the perceived inadequacy associated with disability. She challenged the dominant culture's belief that disabled people lead harder lives, pointing out that everyone faces struggles and disabled individuals can lead rich and fulfilling lives.

Sarah emphasizes that disability should not be equated with a bad life. Disabled people can have meaningful and fulfilling experiences. Society's emphasis on having a "healthy" child portrays disability as fundamentally unsatisfactory, perpetuating harmful assumptions.

She calls for a change in attitudes and understanding, asserting that disabled people are fully capable of being good parents and deserve the right to choose whether to pursue parenthood. The author regrets that society's negative perceptions robbed her of the opportunity to make that choice, and she hopes that by normalizing and embracing disability as part of the human experience, future generations can make informed decisions about parenthood without societal limitations.


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Striving to remove barriers that prevent us from building a Diverse, Vibrant, Inclusive, Accessible Community!

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