My Child Has A Hand Difference
By the time you have your fourth baby, you think you have it sorted.
When Analise was born we were told by our Paediatrician that our daughter had a “lobster claw” and that she would “google” some information and get back to us. All the nursing staff in trying to be supportive, we felt, were quite flippant in their “she will be fine” attitude. At the time, as her parents however, we were initially shocked and devastated to have a baby with such a visually confronting hand abnormality.
We decided very quickly though that we needed to be Analise’s advocates and to the outside world we were very positive and protective. Despite ours and everyone else’s positive attitudes, we both spent a long time wondering ‘what else was wrong’ and if Analise had any other problems. How would she cope with using her hand? How were we going to be able to assist her? How would other people treat her? No-one was able to answer any of our questions and we certainly felt like we were a ‘one in a billion’ statistic, and we felt very isolated.
Three things changed for us.
The first was reading on the internet a comment by a parent of a child with a physical challenge, that children do not know how to feel about their ‘differences’ – they learn from us, our attitudes and the ways we deal and cope with challenges. If we think thay a handicap then it will become one. If we don’t see their differences then neither will they.