ONE of the many things I wish society would do differently in regards to handicapped children is adding pictures of them more frequently in books and on television. I'm not talking about a sweet little book about the little boy in the wheelchair and how he uses it. I'm just talking about having the little boy in the wheelchair be some part of the story, maybe even the hero of the story, without having to mention his wheelchair. I think there is a downsize to stories about wheelchairs for children because it draws attention to the chair instead of to the child that's in that chair. I know there are plenty on their who know someone who is just an incredible person who just so happens to be in a wheelchair.
One of the author's that I believe does a good job of this is P.K. Hallinan. 'When I grow up' is just one example. His stories just have a little boy in a wheelchair scattered throughout the book, without mentioning the wheelchair itself. Now I will have to say that not ALL of his books do this, but there are quite a few.
Now before you mom's who might not have a child in a wheelchair dismiss this post as not pertaining to you. WAIT
How much better for your child to see on a casually basis pictures of children in wheelchairs? How much more prepared would your child be when seeing a child in a wheelchair? Yes, it seems like a small insignificant thing, but I think it's big. I think it's really big. I want my son to go into McDonald's just like any other boy without children staring and whispering. (yes, granted that is incredible normal) but don't you believe that it would be a lot less striking of a sight if your child had books or shows that had children in wheelchairs on a regular basis. So here's what I'm asking of everyone reading this: (Whether you be a grandma, aunt, cousin, friend, or sunday school teacher) could you find a book for whatever children are in your life with pictures of a child in a wheelchair? Maybe we can really start someting. Not just for Toby but for all those children who truly want to be seen for you they are and not for what they are sitting in!
P.K. Hallinan is the only author I have found so far that does this. If you know of any other's please let me know!!