If You Were Born Without Your Hands

Written by Maggie Nolan


Imagine if you only had ONE hand, would it affect the way you live your life?

Or…

If you didn’t have any hands how would you go about your daily tasks?

If you didn’t have feet it wouldn’t be as easy to get around…And

If you didn’t have any eyes how would that impact you?

Well the answer to these questions are of course is an individual thing, so therefore I can only answer for myself.

If I didn’t have a part of my body, I would find life challenging, I would have to do things differently, and normal everyday tasks would take longer to complete.

I would need more time to focus on the task.

I may need help, I may not be able to do certain things, I may want to give up, or I may just give up on the task completely, to never attempt it because I felt I didn’t want to burden anyone, thus never experiencing it.

Now…. think about that for a minute, and put yourself in the picture….

And think about the impacts caused on yourself, the impacts on your self-esteem and your confidence, the impacts on others and how you might start to have limiting self-beliefs!

So, let’s think about the
word disability for a minute.

There are 2 definitions I found on the internet;

  1. A disability is a physical or mental condition that limits a person’s movements, senses, or activities.
  2. A disadvantage or handicap, especially one imposed or recognized by the law

When I saw these 2 definitions of the word, and it made me think, of an earlier conversation I had at an appointment with my son’s teacher…

I’m sure you know my son Charlie has a diagnosis where he was born without the main network of fibres that connects his Brain Hemispheres, called the Corpus Callosum, which is a rare congenital abnormality, present through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

When I look at these 2 definitions, I can see why it is hard to get anyone to see that missing a major… well, in fact.. the main network of nerve fibres of the Brain, is in fact a disability.

It boggles my Brain…one of the definitions is saying that a disability is a physical or mental condition that limits a person’s movements, senses.

The other is saying it’s a disadvantage or handicap, and, wait! this part of the statement is the GOLD!

“Especially one imposed or recognised by the law”

It seems to me, there is no in-between… and furthermore, what if the disability is invisible?

Or it doesn’t seem to fit in a category.

In our system, there are only 4 diagnoses that our Government recognises for funding, those are;

  • A physical disability
  • A hearing impairment
  • An intellectual disability
  • Autism Spectrum disorder (ASD)

So therefore, Charlie is physically missing a part of his Brain, but it can not be categorized as a physical disability, and he doesn’t fit the others.

The only option is to try and see if he fits into the autism basket. Charlie’s disability, ACC (agenesis of the corpus callosum) has similar Autistic traits. However, trying to get professionals to see that is like pulling teeth..  We have been through numerous assessments.

A person’s disability can come in all shapes and sizes.

For some the disability is visible, and for others it is not.

It may come in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder, the person could have anxiety, work related bullying, causing debilitating stress and anxiety, which I see in my practice as a remedial massage therapist.

Some people have incurable diseases, and cancers, causing physically and socially debilitating conditions.

Invisible disabilities can be things in our personalities that disable us from doing certain things for certain reason.

I not trying to throw a pity party for myself, I’m simply just giving a message of awareness, a message of being present with people in our community, because as humans, we may be quick to ignore the reality of individuals in our community, if we can’t see it, it doesn’t exist!

I love being a mum, I love everything about my children, and wouldn’t change a single thing, all I want is a fair world for our kids, a world that works for inclusion, a world that recognizes that there is more than meets the eye for a lot of people and we can’t just be lumped in a category. We are all individuals, unique and wonderful in our own ways.

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