Since I can remeber like a lot of people with disabilities, I’ve spent more time in hospitals, doctors surgery’s, physio’s and with other health professionals than I’d care too. Alot of these professionls however have been some of the best people I have ever met and helped me to improve my disability in ways I’m really gratful for. Sadly though some have made me wonder why they would choose such a job with such an awful ability to communicate effectively and such a narrow minded approach to thier job.
Although during my time in school I spent a lot of time giving a variety of health professionals tips on how they could better communicate with people with CP or other disabilities and it made me realise that some people just need some advice and help to better understand thier patients. So here are my top 5 things to think about when communicating effectively.
1. Just because I’m disabled doesn’t mean I’m stupid!
This is one of my absolute pet hates and something I’ll never understand, why is it that when you have a disability a lot of people all of a sudden slow down their speech and talk to you like you don’t understand anything, I’m not a child and just because I’m disabled doesn’t mean I’m not intelligent!
2. Please dont talk to my parents about me!
People discussing what I need with my parents when I’m a child is fine but when people still insist on doing this when I’m 24 years old it becomes a joke and not to mention really disrespectful! I’m in the room and I’m fully aware of what you’re saying please don’t talk to my parents like I don’t matter!
3. My disability doesn’t make me ininvisble.
this goes alongside number 2 and is something I’ve experiencecd a million times before for some bizzare reason certain people act like I’m invisible and just completely disregard my opinion.
4. Not everyone who’s disabled is the same!
‘Well we did that for her and she has CP so it should work for you’ the amount of times I’ve heard this sort of sstatement is unbelievable, just because someone has CP like me doesn’t mean thier type of treatment will work for me, what may of worked wonders for one person might not help another. we are not clones!
5. Do not assume you know what’s best for me, I have my own mind!
If a abled bodied 50 year old women walked in to your surgery I’m very sureI’vwouldn’t operate on her or give her medication without consulting her so why should I be any different? I have my own mind and can im very capable of deciding what’s best for me!
Even though I’m sure there a lot more uself tips I could offer from my experiences over the years, I hope that these 5 points will at least make people more aware of how they communicate with other people and hopefully help them to make changes were they feel necessary.