Parenting and Disability

  1. High School Student Invents Wheelchair Stroller for Disabled Parents

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    Photograph of Sharina Jones testing out the wheelchair stroller she’ll be using with her baby.

    As someone who may want to become a disabled parent one day, one of the many concerns I have is how I would carry my child around as a wheelchair user.  I know that there are baby wraps that I can wear while my child is very small, but as she/he grows, I will need something that will grow with her/him and allow me to transport them to and fro safely and comfortably.  This need is one that has been grossly overlooked in the parenting/baby supplies industry.  Imagine my excitement when I learned about a high school student from Michigan who invented a wheelchair stroller to bridge that gap for parents in wheelchairs.  I had to feature it for the “Tools You Can Use” series because this is a product that would personally improve my abilities as a future disabled mother.  

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  1. Making the Decision to Parent with a Disability: Discussion & Personal Reflections From Disabled Women

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    Adult Holding Child's Hand 1

    Last Tuesday, I came across an article posted on the TIME’s website about a woman who decided to become a parent with a disability.  The writer of the piece has the same disability as I, Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), and she passed OI onto her daughter.  The article shared the struggles the mother had in watching her daughter live with OI, and the strong tinges of regret she held dear to her heart for bestowing this condition and disabled life onto her daughter.  Her candor was striking to me, and I shared the following reaction with my friends on Facebook:

    I’m conflicted about this article, especially since the writer has OI. Though one of the reasons why I’ve always been hesitant about having children is because I know there’s a 50/50 chance of passing OI along to my offspring, that doesn’t fully deter me from having children. If my children ends up having OI, then that’s what God would want. If they’re “healthy,” then that’s God’s plans, too. I know that with some types of OI, the health complications can be severe, but with my type, I don’t have so many health problems.

    I know that everyone is different, but I really did not like the overall tone of the article. There are many folks of various disabilities who “pass” their genes onto their offspring, & they help their children “cope” with being disabled.

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