* Unexpected joy of having a son with disabilities

http://aww.ninemsn.com.au/family/parenting/8656654/the-unexpected-joy-of-having-a-son-with-disabilities

This article was in the Australian Women’s Weekly this year, with the target audience of women with families.  The article could be seen as a feel good story showing that having a child with a disability can ‘provide joy’ to the family.  Originally the family was ‘devastated’ that their child wasn’t ‘normal’ but highlighted that he is a joy in their life.

The aim of the article is not to educate the readers about disability but to provide inspiration  – that despite having a child with a disability, a family can be happy.  If the son did not have a disability then the article wouldn’t have been written.  Rather than seeing a child with a disability as a natural part of life, the article uses this child to ‘teach’ us about love, acceptance and families.  The media plays a large part in how people think about the world – it is a pity this magazine believes that people who have a disability should be seen as ‘exceptional’ in this manner.

One positive note in the article was the quote from the parent saying ‘I don’t need to fix him’.  This could educate readers that children who have a disability do not need to be treated or ‘fixed’ from a medical point of view.

The article also briefly mentioned the mothers worry about the future for her son – it would have been a more informative article if the author had focussed more on the needs of carers or the lack of appropriate care options available to adults with a profound disabilty (although the two links attached to this online article did link to websites about carers and the new DisabilityCare funding).

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