Invisible Disability Awareness

[Image Description:] A drawing of a girl standing and looking at the “camera”. She is smiling.
Artwork credit to the awesome Destiny Slater


Take a look at the image above. Try and guess what disability the person in the drawing has.

You can’t guess, can’t you? That’s the point of this drawing created by Destiny Slater. In this drawing, the girl has an invisible disability, which is something that we cannot see on the outside like we would if we saw a person in a wheelchair or perhaps a blind man with his walking cane.

There are too numerous invisible disabilities out there for me to list here, but I’ll summarize a few as follows:

Developmental disabilities such as autism – There are many types of developmental disabilities in which the person may appear normal on the outside, but in the inside, the person may have autism, Asperger’s or other types of developmental disabilities.

Mental Illness – Again, on the outside, the person may look normal, but on the inside, the person could be dealing with depression, bipolar disorder, and many other types of mental illnesses.

Chronic Illness – Some people have some sort of chronic illness such as cancer, cystic fibrosis, etc. in which they may appear normal on the outside, but are battling their illness on the inside. For example, the girl above in the drawing could very well be undergoing treatment for cancer. You just don’t know it because she could be wearing a wig. Or she could have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in which she gets tired easily and needs a mobile scooter to get around.

Those are some examples, but there are lots more invisible disabilities out there. So when you see what appears to be an able bodied person get out of her car legally parked in a handicapped space, please do not be so quick to judge her as she could very well have CFS.

And with that said and with Halloween coming up, I would like to end this article with this public service announcement.

[Image description:] A drawing of a pumpkin with the following words written on it:

With Halloween fast approaching. please keep this in mind:
The child who is grabbing more than one piece of candy
may have poor fine motor skills. The child who takes forever to
pick out one piece of candy may have motor planning issues.
The child who does not say “Trick or Treat” or “Thank You” may be
non-verbal. The child who looks disappointed when they see
your bowl of candy may have a food allergy. The child who is
not wearing a costume at all may have sensory processing
issues or autism.

Be kind. Be patient. It’s everyone’s Halloween.

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