For some people – an intellectual disability is anyone who is not as educated or gifted as themselves. It is quite arrogant to consider oneself above the rest. A diagnosis from a doctor is not required to those who deem themselves worthy of socially classifying others as disabled. A diagnosed disability should be considered a LIMITATION compared to ‘normal’ mental capacity; varying in degrees from complete dependability on a care giver to socially acceptable characteristics. Too often a limitation is marked severely as ‘Less than Average’; and therefore, not worth the effort. In my opinion, the persons without the patience to accept those with mental limitations are the ones with the disability. What if it was you in their place? Shall I leave you with bed sores in a dirty diaper because I ‘just can’t deal with it’? Shall I ignore you because you have nothing good to say? Shall I remove your chance of involvement on this earth because you can’t live it the same way I do?
Patience. Intellectual disabilities require patience. It’s not their fault. An independently functioning adult with a disability can hold a job, rent a place to live and even maintain a ‘normal’ lifestyle. The innocence of someone intellectually limited is so refreshing. Like a child. Tolerating and understanding how the disabled person deals with the limitations is key. If they love to hear a drum beat and want to play along to your favourite tune, don’t let yourself be annoyed that they are ‘ruining it for you’. Being frustrated with a limitation is only damaging to our own experience with the lovingly limited. Letting them enjoy life the same way we can helps us enjoy it as well.
The severely disabled person requiring constant care and attention can be extremely difficult. I am glad for those angels on earth loving and caring for those with complete dependence. Not everyone can stand the endurance it takes. The joys they experience are fewer unless you know how to share them. They are still here on earth for reasons that may still be unknown. They have been given to you for your own growth. We may alternatively experience their limitations in small doses throughout our life, if we are not directly connected to someone disabled. Discovering how they have affected our time in even the smallest regard but for a greater purpose is how the world should react. Avoidance for self comfort is what most find easiest to do. And don’t think those with disabilities can’t see that.
At the same time, intellectual disabilities seem to be common place. Perhaps they are even readily accepted to deny a lack of parenting or childhood guidance in morals and behaviour. Instead of monitoring a child’s diet, a parent would rather consider their child is suffering ADD because dyes, additives and processed ingredients are effecting their personalities. Speech impediments and slower learning are accepted by teachers and parents, there-by classifying children with a learning disability and leaving it at that.
Whatever the limitation, we all have one. Whether it is autism, or an inability to see past our own nose. We all should have the intelligence to recognize and accept we are all made in God’s image according to His design.