‘What is she doing?’ I was rolling around the block when a little boy saw me and fell off his bike. He couldn’t take his eyes off me.’: Woman in wheelchair touched by stranger’s inclusive language

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“I want to share something that happened last week that made me very happy!

I am in a wheelchair. On one of my quarantine rolls around the block, I saw a little boy learning to ride a bike. He was riding in zigzags towards me, with his dad running behind. When he saw me, he forgot all about what he was doing and rode off the paved road straight into the gravel. Even when he fell, as his father was helping him up, he couldn’t take his eyes off me.

Then they had the following dialogue:

Father: ‘Why did you steer off the road?’

Son: ‘What is she doing?’

Father: ‘She is rolling in a wheelchair.’

Son: ‘Why?’

Father: ‘Because when a person has difficulty walking, they use a wheelchair to get around. Okay, ready?’

Son: ‘Yeah, ready.’

And they took off.

That’s it!

Simple. Neutral. To the point.

No mention of sickness, weakness, disability, pity. No shaming the kid for asking inappropriate questions or for staring. No apologizing to me.

I wanted to hug the dad!

I see this with my nephews every single day. They are curious, they ask questions, their friends ask questions, and it’s okay!

How we respond to their questions now will later affect the way these kids think about disabilities and how they’ll treat others as they grow up.

It’s our opportunity to foster a neutral attitude towards disability, an attitude of inclusion, and acceptance!”

Courtesy of @rollwithasmileblog

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Tali of Roll With A Smile Blog. Submit your own story here and  sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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