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Disability: It’s all in the Mind


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This blog post has been contributed by Deepa Garwa.

There is an old adage about age, that age is an issue of mind, if you don’t mind it doesn’t matter. After being a mother of a special needs child for the last seven years I can completely identify with the saying, but in the context of disability.

The perception about disability too is an issue of mind and no matter how hard it seems to people who are not directly associated with the ‘special needs people’, to us, it doesn’t matter anymore.

Sadly, it was not always like this. There was a time when it did matter and when it did affect us in a huge way. This is an incident that I would like to share with you that I have not shared so far. I believe it is important to share my journey so that other parents can understand the trauma and turbulence an otherwise normal family has to go through after the birth of their special needs child.

After getting two big blows in one morning; one, that my daughter has Down’s syndrome and the other, that she’d soon need open heart surgery, we almost lost our hope in life. As expected, the denial, hurt, anger and then hopelessness took over and we were trying to find answers everywhere, in medical as well as in spiritual books to figure out why it happened to us.

In the meanwhile, we consulted a paediatric cardiologist about her surgery. The doctor took a long look at her. She was barely one; his eyes were still on her when he told us to not go ahead with the surgery. He said he was being ‘concerned’, and that he had seen families drifting apart after a special need child’s birth, and that he was sympathetic towards us, and was giving us a good suggestion.

His point was that if we didn’t operate on her, she would die in few years and that would be good for everybody. And the worst part of it was, I was almost convinced.

We went to almost six different doctors, from paediatricians to cardiologists, from family doctors to doctors known to friends, but not one doctor suggested that we go ahead with the surgery. My husband and I were very very scared. After all they were the people we trusted and who supposedly knew everything there was to know about our daughter.

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ParentEdge is a bi-monthly magazine for discerning Indian parents who would like to actively contribute to their children’s education, intellectual enrichment and stimulation. The magazine’s premise is that learning is a continuous process, and needs to happen both in and outside of school; thus parents have an important role to play in shaping their children’s interests and intellect.


10 thoughts on “Disability: It’s all in the Mind

  1. Ignatius Fernandez

    Deepa, thank you for sharing an eye-opening experience with us. I salute your courage and faith. As parents you did not give up, despite predictions to the contrary. Your story will certainly inspire others with similar problems. God bless you and your family.

    Reply
  2. sonika

    Depa it is really very inspiring. We have normal kids but one way or the other they r also special need children. Everybody needs love, care and attention only the difference is down syndrome child needs more love care and attention but in return they give us the same.

    Reply
  3. Rashmi kohli

    I m really proud of you who is able to convince your feeling and educating people for taking right decision at right time. Loved your article. I wish both of you and your daughter a wonderful and successful life ahead.All the best.

    Reply
  4. Rachna Gupta

    Deepa, this story is really painful n realistic too.its very easy to read it n say”’ I can understand n feel the pain but it’s not true. This pain can be felt by the person who go through it. It’s very difficult to show that on papers but u did it very well. That was the time when one have to be calm n cool so as to take right decision but being a mother its very difficult. But you proved it very bravely. I really appreciate you for your right decision at right time. Its a lesson for us too.

    Reply
  5. Ramya

    Hats off to your courage Deepa, for standing up for your child at the right time, and for candidly sharing your difficult moments.

    This is an inspiration for all parents

    Reply
  6. Swati

    Truly an inspiring story in more than one ways! In a society where normal girl child is considered as a burden you and your husband are raising a special needs girl! So proud of you Deepa! All the best for her future endeavours!

    Reply
  7. Richa

    Most of our beliefs are generalisations about our past, based on our interpretations of painful and pleasurable experiences. The moment we begin to honestly question our beliefs and the experiences, we open the door to replacing our old, disempowering beliefs with new beliefs. I am so glad Deepa, you changed your beliefs because that itself will empower you to accomplish virtually anything, including those things other people are certain are impossible. All the best !

    Reply
  8. Subir Roy

    I salute you and your family for your courageous decision. She will make you proud one day. Only a few days back i met your husband and found him to be a strong man of courage with a golden heart. My best wishes are with.

    Reply

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