Many of us have children who are faced with one or more obstacles. Their disability may be physical or it may be a learning disability. There are also other obstacles children face like extreme shyness, size, weight, popularity, etc. Those may not seem like a big deal in the scope of disabilities, but even little things seem huge at age thirteen! And, even little things can be disabling.
Recently, my family and I watched on DVD an old episode of Highway to Heaven with Michael Landon. In this particular episode, a quadriplegic man named Scotty studied for his bar exam—determined to become a lawyer. This took place before PCs appeared in nearly every home, so he learned to type on a standard typewriter using a pencil or stick held between his teeth. He controlled his electric chair by hitting his cheek against a wand. Anyway, a young high school athlete lost both his legs and ended up in the same location as Scotty. This young man had given up on life and had been refusing physical therapy sessions.
Finally, to make a long story short, the athlete was convinced to develop his arm strength and take up pommel horse training. During his training, he almost gave up and gave in to his depression. Scotty came along and told him to stop using his disability as a crutch. Scotty gave him a long pep talk on what he would do if he had hands (including not needing assistance while using the bathroom). Scotty told the young athlete that if he gave up—and he had hands—then the world would give up on people like Scotty and not expect them to amount to anything. And, Scotty wanted to succeed.
Let us encourage each other and our children to recognize their weaknesses, disabilities, inabilities, etc., and work on helping them develop the skills and attitudes to be achievers and over-comers. Instead of letting our obstacles become “crutches” that we rely on for reasons not to make goals and keep goals, we can focus on what we are able to do.