Zack is clever

Thanks to Facebook I have come across a fabulous documentary, called Certain Proof which follows three parents of children with disabilities as they try to move their way through the education system. 

Here's a link to the trailer.

Certain Proof

I think a lot of people assume that because a child has severe disabilities and cannot speak then they must also be mentally impaired. 

Of all the barriers Zack will have to face this is the one that really and I mean really frustrates me. Like one of the ladies explains in the clip, people assume that her child just doesn't understand and she assumes people wonder why she bothers at all. 

Narrow minded? Or are people forgivably just assuming that without a voice, movement or acknowledgment of others then the disabled person has no intelligence? 

I have always been quite modest as to the capabilities of Zack perhaps even being guilty of having no faith in his ability only to find he proves me wrong (see the day he used a switch for the first time).  But I know for sure that Zack is clever. He understands a lot more than we give him credit for. He wants to do things but is held back by the inability to control movement in his arms. He wants to speak but is held back by the lack of control of breath in his throat. 

Zack is very aware of his environment, he knows what he likes, what he dislikes. He can be a stroppy bugger and he can be the most excitable, loveable little boy. And now we are coming towards a period in his life were other people outside of our household will question his mental capacity. I am talking about the education system. I need to find somewhere that is going to challenge him, that won't make assumptions and will always assume that he can rather than he can't.

So that documentary is almost like looking in a mirror and is perhaps common to a lot of parents of children with disabilities. I hope other people watch it and learn something, even if it is a slither of understanding that just because a person cannot talk, move or interact does not mean they are incapable of understanding. A fact that I was perhaps guilty of before Zack. And it goes to prove that he has probably taught me a lot more about life and acceptance than any other person could and all this without a single word from his lips. Clever he is, that boy of mine.


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