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How do you make a huge difference to a disabled person's life?

10 Answers
Last Updated: 09/26/2020 at 12:02pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Polly Letsch, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

I provide non-judgmental, person-centered, objective therapeutic treatment for individuals of all ages to improve social, emotional, mental and other areas of functioning.

Top Rated Answers
- Expert in Disabilities
October 23rd, 2016 1:48pm
you can make a difference by spending quality time with that person on a regular basis... being a friend. Illness and disabilities can be very isolating. Friends and family spend more time asking what can I do "for" you and less saying what can I do "with" you. Often people with disabilities struggle with feeling like a burden, one of the greatest gifts you can give is to include them and enjoy them and make them a part of your life not just a task to be completed but a person to love.
October 24th, 2016 11:51pm
To whoever submitted this question thank you. Making a difference in anyone's life is difficult, however making a difference to a disabled person's life is much harder than you might think. We have problems with self-confidence, loneliness, and sometimes we want more than our bodies can give us. Therefore, to make a difference you have to think outside the box. Someone with a physical disability like mine you may have to initiate a hug, or come up to someone because they might be afraid of you. Most importantly though. Please treat us like we are like you, because we know we are different than everyone else, but we don't want to feel that way. Help us forget that we are different.
October 23rd, 2016 3:38pm
Just being there is a great way to make an impact. You can let them know you're there if they need anything and make sure you're around to show them that as well. The smallest things can make a huge difference. Checking in with them to see how their day is going and things like that; even if they aren't able to convey what they want and need, support systems are vital.
December 2nd, 2016 3:34am
Be there for them, make sure you remind them as often as possible that you are there for them. Also treat them as you would anyone else, disability or not. Sometimes it helps to just be treated like everyone else. (Hope this helps!)
February 5th, 2018 3:34pm
that's a good question. there is no right answer to this. our disability doesn't define us and still it's a part of our lives. accept us for who we are and be kind if that's something you can do. some of us have a hard time to build our self esteem, which I'm not saying it's not like this for other people. so different people with disabilities try to cope with it differently. some might become the shy more introverted people and others might be act aggressive when approached believing that showing off they're stronger than others makes them less vulnerable. if you're understanding and not on the bully side or excluding us, you already made a difference. just be aware we we very sensitive to motivations. if your actions are driven by pitty, we might be hurt and isolate ourselves or you.
January 29th, 2018 5:19am
Treat them no differently than you would any other person. Appreciate them for who they are as a person and try not to see them any differently than someone who doesn't have a disability.
June 4th, 2017 4:20pm
As someone with a physical disability, I'm often treated very differently when people realise I'm disabled. Often at parties I'll be getting heavily hit on and asked out but when they see me use my feet (arms are paralysed and this can sometimes not be obvious), it all stops immediately. Or I've even had people walking up to me and they've stopped on the spot and did a 180 in the other direction when they saw me using my feet. This is the most crushing thing I've felt growing up. Especially when you're a teenager, your self-confidence drops immensely. It's been years since the first time this sort of thing happened to me and I've never been able build my confidence from it. So treating us the same is the key, or even educating yourself so when you meet someone with a more 'abnormal' disability you're not freaked out and you're more understanding.
June 17th, 2019 7:10pm
It all depends on age and how you know each other. I'm friends with multiple people who are disabled. From my experience all they've wanted is a real friend who isn't just being friends with them for attention or more friends. It can be hard finding places to go if they are in a wheelchair or need certain accomodities but there are always options. My brother couldn't walk for years and was pushed around in a wheelchair and we found that carnivals and fairs are good places to go and that most place's websites say if they are accessible to handicap or disabled. If you have any ideas that you think you want to do but you need to talk with someone first, I'm always here!
July 31st, 2017 9:50am
I think the most important thing for making a difference in their life is to be understanding of what they may need differently--but more importantly, to treat them as though they were anyone else! As a visually impaired person, I know that I appreciate it when my friends are open with me about their questions and confusions, and even when they make blind jokes sometimes. I like it that my friends don't talk down to me or treat me differently just because I use a cane, and I appreciate it when they take the time to help me navigate through an unfamiliar environment. My best friends are there for me and acknowledge my struggles, just like they would for any perceived non disabled person.
September 26th, 2020 12:02pm
Dont love them despite their disabilities, love them for those things that make them different. Treat them like you would your other friends to the degree that you can. Be helpful. Keep kindness in the front of your mind. When you start to hang out with them your differences will seem more and more insignificant. My brother had CP and all of his friends were super supportive of him. Since he was in a wheel chair, theyd help him participate in activities like the school dance or hiking as a class. They kept him involved and eventually it was just like second nature to them. This answer is a bit disjointed, but I hope its a little helpful :)