Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What Is Handicapped?

What exactly qualifies someone as handicapped? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary it is having a physical or mental disability ; also : of or reserved for handicapped persons.

As someone who has been described as handicapped my entire life, I disagree. Having only one hand does not make me handicapped. Like I say in my blog's name, I firmly believe that handicapped is all in the mind. It's a way of thinking pessimistically that prevents a person from reaching their full potential.

I grew up hearing that the only reason my birth mother tried so hard to keep me is because she feared no one would adopt a handicapped baby. My adoptive parents met me when my mom became my occupational therapist to teach me how to use a prosthesis. In first grade, the school system put me in the remedial classes because "anyone with a physical handicap usually has a mental one too."

This blog is not going to be an authority on anything, just a way for me to share some of my experiences growing up in a society that tried to make me believe there was something wrong with me. That I was handicapped.


  1. -Applauds-
    I agree, and I'm glad someone's who has a 'handicap' is finally saying that. My little brother has CP (Cerevral Palsy). Granted, it's not as bad as some people, but when you consider what doctors say he "may not be able to do" (like running) compared to what he's learned to do (Like play football), it's rediculous to say that he's disabled. His CP affects him, but not enough to keep him from life like some people think he should be.

  2. Well, Rana, I am looking for others who might be willing to blog about this subject. If you're ever interested in doing a post on your experiences, let me know :)

  3. When we lived in TN my kids' second grade teacher didn't have a hand from birth like you, and she was one of their all time favorite teachers. She was amazing. I loved her to death. She never let anything stop her. You're so right. Being handicapped is a state of mind.

  4. Sarah, this is wonderful. I certainly look forward to your posts. It really is a state of mind. And you don't live in that state, thank goodness!

  5. Lois - It's great when kids are exposed to differences at a very young age. If that person is understanding, not self-pitying, and willing to answer questions honestly, it can be such a learning experience.

    Glam - Thanks so much.