To Pauline Hanson, From the Mother of a Child With Disabilities
I dropped off my daughter Chiara to her kinder group this morning. It’s not a “special” school that caters for children with disabilities. In fact, it’s a mainstream environment where Chiara can experience life like any other toddler her age. This morning as I carried her into the room, she was greeted with a group of kids running up to her with excitement. “Ki-Ki is here,” “Hello Chiara,” “Yay, Chiara has arrived!” As I placed Chiara into her chair, these kids were hugging her and she was laughing with joy back.
I could see the beautiful exchange of human diversity, love and joy that expands past any physical or verbal limitations. I could see a group of young children who by the mere experience of sharing time with a child with neurodiverse needs, bring and gain gifts and insight. I see a room full of children who connect with Chiara. There are no concerns that Chiara cannot sit, walk, or talk. There are no concerns that their needs are not being met. There is no hierarchy between who should receive more education than the other. I see a room full of educators who include every child and provide each of them with the love, guidance and care they deserve. I see a room full of acceptance and understanding.
You won’t hear comments like Pauline Hanson’s: “We need to get rid of those people because you want everyone to feel good about themselves” in these parts. In fact, you won’t hear any of this bulls**t, because Hanson, this community doesn’t need to exclude others in order to feel good. That’s the thing about living an authentic human life. If there one thing that I have learned as a mother to a child with disabilities it is this: communities, families, friends and the world at large are far better off where there is inclusion and shared experiences of all people, whether asylum seekers, aboriginal culture or neurodiverse. They shine a light through fear, ignorance or greed, and bring us all to a deeper level of the human condition and the essence of compassion and love.
Editor’s note: This story reflects an individual’s experience and is not an endorsement from The Mighty. We believe in sharing a variety of perspectives from our community.
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Thinkstock photo by OK Six.