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The Positive Side of My Daughter’s Disability

Sylvia Philips by Sylvia Philips Additional Needs

Sylvia Philips

Sylvia Philips

My family has been through the tragedy, trials and ultimate triumph over childhood brain cancer. My daughter Bethany, underwent emergency surgery t...

I was born into a family that always saw the worst aspect of anything and everything that ever happened.

Even if what happened was really a good thing! I grew up believing that the glass was always half empty and never half full!

My family members thrived on doom and gloom and their own misery!

They wallowed in their own unhappiness without restraint and attempted to seduce anyone who crossed their path into joining them

I hate to admit it, but as a result of growing up in such a hotbed of wretchedness, I often wrestle with my own distorted way of looking at life.

I certainly don’t have to stretch my imagination very far or need any help in order to find something to darken my day or dampen my mood!

Negativity is in my genes!

Of course, having a child who was diagnosed with a brain tumor at age two and then disabled by the surgery to remove it has given me lot’s of fuel for my “negativity” fire!

Yet even though it’s an ongoing struggle for me, I long to see my world through rose colored glasses!

I crave positivity! I yearn to see the good in all things!

As difficult as it is, I am striving to become more aware of and focus on all of Bethany’s good, positive, and happy moments as well as call attention to and celebrate her many awesome accomplishments, achievements, and improvements!

Below are just a few of the positive characteristics of Bethany’s disability that I am choosing to focus on and celebrate!

• Bethany has absolutely no low self esteem issues. She does not worry about keeping up her appearance or image.

In fact, I doubt that she even has a self image at all!

She doesn’t fret about what she looks like, or her weight, or if she’s wearing the latest styles! Neither does she worry about being popular.

• Bethany simply does not comprehend that there are people who might judge her by the way she looks or acts!

She doesn’t recognize when people make fun of her and she’s completely oblivious to people staring at her when they notice that she’s not acting her age, that she talks funny, or when she’s having a seizure in public.

• Bethany accepts everyone just as they are.

She doesn’t judge people in any way whatsoever- not by the color of their skin, their religious beliefs, their lifestyle choices, the way they look, the clothes they wear, or how much money they make.

Making fun of anyone is not even within her ability.

• Bethany is satisfied and content with a few very basic and simple pleasures in life, like following her routine, watching her movies, tapping her craft rocks, playing games, going for a ride in the car, and playing with her friends at club.

She has absolutely no desire for expensive video game systems, diamond rings, stylish clothes, money, or fancy sports cars.

Though I must admit, she does love her technological devices!

• Bethany does not get frightened about things like being in the dark, bad people, getting hurt, or even what will happen to her in the future.

She has absolutely no concept of the future, that there are bad people in the world who might wish to harm her, or that the boogeyman might be hiding under her bed at night.

• Bethany will always be my sweet and innocent little girl with a childlike faith in God and humanity!

Even though Bethany’s disabilities come with daily struggles, challenges and occasional heartaches I will continue to search for and celebrate the positive in even the most negative of situations!


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