How can i better understand what people with disabilities are going through?
Last Updated: 08/13/2018 at 6:57pm
Kristin Noyes, MSW, LCSW
Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Depression and anxiety can feel overwhelming even on the best of days. I believe in helping clients understand these disorders and help them to reduce and manage symptoms.
Top Rated Answers
Honestly, there is no way of truly understanding what a person with a disability goes through unless you can relate and/or have a disability of your own. Trust me I know. I have a birth injury. I'm now 20 years old and honestly I don't really think anyone understands it better than others with disabilities no matter how much we try to get other people to understand.
You just need to communicate with them, and after a while you'll when they become your friend you'll understand them
I think it's difficult to fully understand what someone with a disability goes through until you go through it yourself. However, things like internet resources, working with people who have a disability can really give you and insight into living life with a disability
They might feel alone at some point like nobody understand them and it can be frustrating from time to time.
Spend some time talking with them! Most people with disabilities are open for such a talk and are happy to share their experience with others! Another way is to try to recreate a situation of a disabled person like trying to write while wearing a boxing glove. You will never experience the whole struggle but you can somehow relate now.
Read blogs and books written by people with disabilities (NOT written by the parents or family members of disabled kids--that is not the same thing, no matter how much parents might try to convince you that they understand the disability better than adults who have it).
People with disabilities have such diverse experiences that it's probably not possible to get a meaningful sense of what they're going through as a group. On a personal level, understanding what a person with a disability is going through is much the same as trying to understand what a person without a disability is going through. Spend time with the person, talk to each other (find a way to communicate with assistive technology if needed), and get to know one another. If you earn the person's trust, they might open up and share their experiences with you. (They might not want to share and of course, that's up to them.) Unless there are specific reasons to do otherwise, treat it as you would any other relationship.
One way to learn the situations that those with disabilities are going through is to work with them. One can help by doing things such as volunteering at places that serve those with disabilities. Reaching out to your local resources and alliances can help you get on the right track such as local hospitals, nursing homes, shelters. It might also serve to be a very rewarding experience.
To an extent, you need to put yourself in their shoes. It won't come remotely close to what that person is feeling inside and is beating themselves up for, but at least you're getting a glimpse of how it would feel to be them.
Ask them. Every person with a disability is different.
Ask them, please do not assume you know. Everyone deal with pain differently, everyone experiences things differently. Disabilities are varied and no two people are the same in how they react or what they are going through.
Honestly, unless you have any disabilitiy you would know what they are going through but the internet is a great resource and also working with people who have disabilitiy is great.
By speaking with them. there are a couple of great resources here: in the Forum, there's a section on Chronic Pain and Illness, and a section on Disabilities. And there's a Group Support Chat room for Disability Support. Or if you know anybody in your life with a disability, speak with them. I think it's commendable that you want to better understand what people with disabilities are going through.
Communication is key, be an ear for the person who is struggling. it is difficult to understand but what really counts is the support and care you offer to them.
First off, it's a good start to be interested in such a topic. But the truth is, you'll never really know unless you yourself have a disability, and even then, everyone experiences life differently. While you can do research online, the best thing to look for would be personal accounts, or talking to people who know who would be willing to share.
Listen and learn. Don't interrupt, don't be dismissive, don't try to pop in with advice. Just. Listen.
I think that the best tip that I can give you to help you understand what people with disabilities are going through is to ask them; if you know someone with a disability, ask them how they are going, help them if they need, be there for them. People with disabilities often feel isolated so include them and be there for them through everything, the good and the bad.
By asking them how you can help and search stuff on the web.
Talk to them, ask questions and be open to the answers they have. Disability is a very personal thing and it is unique for everyone. You will never know what someone is experiencing unless you ask.
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