This is an article from Unfold magazine
Susanne was told there was something “wrong” with her daughter Mia. But with our emotional support, made possible by your gifts, she’s come to see that Mia is perfect just the way she is.
The happiest child you could meet
“Mia is the happiest child ever. Her smile will brighten up your day.” That’s how Susanne describes her nine-year-old daughter, and you just have to look at the picture above to see what she means.
As you can tell from her playful grin, Mia has a cheeky sense of humour. She also has a real creative streak, and loves nothing more than painting pictures or bashing the drums. Every day, she does something to make Susanne proud – but her mum didn’t always feel like this.
Weighed down by a heavy burden
Susanne felt overwhelmed with anxiety when she heard the words: “there is something wrong with your child”. At two years old, Mia was diagnosed with Rett syndrome – a rare genetic condition that affects her development.
Susanne struggled to come to terms with the reality of having a disabled child. “The worry weighed down on me like I was carrying lumps of lead around,” she says. “I felt like I was no longer a real mum.”
You re-wrote the family’s future
Thanks to you, we can provide the emotional support that parents like Susanne need. She joined one of our support groups – and “suddenly,” she said, “I wasn’t isolated anymore.”
A big part of our emotional support is enabling parents of disabled children to explore and express their feelings. Susanne’s group did this through writing – she wrote about her journey as Mia’s mum, from the moment she heard the diagnosis to the way she feels now.
“Writing about my experiences and sharing it with other parents really changed my life,” Susanne says. “If I hadn’t done it, I would still be haunted by those feelings of despair, isolation, fear and anger.”
Attitudes are changing, thanks to you
You helped Susanne feel differently about herself, her daughter and their future together. “Now the weight has disappeared from my shoulders, and I’m 100% focused on being the best mum I can be. I want to do everything I can to encourage her to fulfil her potential.”
“We all have different abilities and needs. It’s not that something is “wrong” with Mia. Something is wrong with the world – because it’s the world that disables her.”
Scope feels the same, and we know you do too. We all believe that people are disabled by the way society is organised, not by their impairments. With your support, we will continue changing attitudes towards disabled people, and removing barriers that stand in their way.
It is thanks to you that families like Susanne and Mia can concentrate on all of the things that are right, not “wrong”. There are many more families who need our support, with your help we can be there for them.