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JJ's Question on 'Speechless' Is What Pushes Me as a Parent of Kids With Disabilities


This Wednesday night on “Speechless,” JJ faced a challenge, so he turned to his mom, Maya, and said: “What are you going to do about it, Mommy?”

Maya puts on her “game face,” and we know fire is about to come down.

As I parent two children with disabilities, that question drives me. What am I going to do about school not following an IEP? About insurance denying adaptive equipment? About the kid who is bullying my child and making fun of the way she walks?

I put my “game face” on — and fire might come down.

Last week I found out a kid has been making fun of the way my daughter walks (she has cerebral palsy). As soon as I found out, I stormed out of the room, speaking out loud of what I was going to do about it. When my daughter heard me talking about my plan, she said, “Oh thank you, thank you, Mom!”

I emailed her teacher and the principal and gave them possible solutions to the problem. I made it clear I expected it to be handled immediately. I even took to Facebook Live and appealed to the anonymous parent of the child (because school cannot give me the parent’s number, I get it).

I was proud of my daughter; she had been dealing with the bully, standing up for herself and advocating, trying to find a solution to her problem until she knew I needed to step in. I know I don’t always have to solve the challenges my daughter faces, much the same way JJ doesn’t always need Maya. But our kids know we will be ready when they need us to step in.

So what am I going to do about whatever situation we have to face in this journey? Like Maya, I am going to take on the world for my kids if I have to.

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