Thursday, January 23, 2014


Afua has a new wheelchair that we are starting to use more. It is a wonderful chair compared to the stroller we have, as it allows her to move her arms more freely. Her posture is better and she is also safer during school bus transportation.

One aspect of the wheelchair that took me by surprise is that people now view her as a child with a handicap. Maybe with the stroller it was less obvious, but the chair makes it very clear.

During a family outing, a person we did not know commented that it was probably so hard for her to be "confined to a wheelchair". I didn't have time to respond which was probably a good thing :) but of course I continued to think about this. Is this how people view children and adults in a wheelchair? Are they met with pity and thoughts of being confined?

Afua at the Air and Space museum in Washington DC.

Waiting for her hearing aids.

A Christmas family outing.

Afua's wheelchair is not a confinement, it is her freedom to join the rest of the world comfortably. She is not in it all the time, but it places her at eye level with her friends.

 Friends, let's not look at children in wheelchairs as someone in need of pity. It may be the best way they experience life without fatigue. For Afua, her wheelchair has opened up new possibilities and she has blossomed as a result. There is hope that she may not need it in the future or she may only use for long distances. But even is she ends up being a full time wheelchair user, she is a child ready for the world.


  1. We still have a long way to go for the world to see our wheelchair riding kids as empowered rather than the opposite. I clearly recall taking my eleven year old to Wal-Mart for the first time in his wheelchair. A very thoughtless (and unfortunate) man made the mistake of saying VERY loudly to my son;"What's wrong with your legs?" To which my very articulate little boy said: "Nothing! What's wrong with you?" As soon as I advanced on him the man took off. He didn't SEE the boy in the chair, ALL he saw was the chair. Still true when my son has to use the chair. I wish it were different but it's not.

    1. Melissa, I absolutely agree with you. I wish people could see the child, not the chair.

  2. Congratulations ot Aqua on getting her new wheelchair! This is a great tool in enhancing her mobility. I still have a hard time usign my mobility equipments (a white cane and a walking stick), so in a way I can understand the confinement logic, but it's not going to help Aqua any.

  3. She looks great in her chair! So well supported too. My son often gets annoyed at people seeing the chair first. He's fine with questions but wishes people would say " hello" first before saying " what's wrong with you? " xx lucky in his powerchair he's too fast for any comments! ;)