Sunday, 24 August 2014

Superpower for good or evil....what's your power?

If you could have a super power what would it be?  Would you choose super strength, maybe you would choose the ability to fly or what about telepathy?

My daughter has a very unique super power, whenever she sits in her wheelchair she becomes invisible.  Now to anyone who knows her she is not invisible but to strangers she is.  We will stop at a store or mall and if seated in her wheelchair people look away, won't make eye contact, or look at her as if they are looking through her and generally avoid acknowledging she exists.  When we are at a busy attraction, were either her Dad or I are pushing her in the wheelchair, people will walk into her and her chair, spill things on her or bump her with things they are carrying.  The majority of people do not acknowledge or apologize for doing this to her.

So far she hasn't been able too use her superpower for good or evil and with her autism she is probably more comfortable being invisible.  As her Mother I would prefer she doesn't practice her invisibility.  Quite often I will place my daughter in a shopping cart when we are out and the difference is tremendous.  People will talk with her, comment on how cute she is and generally engage her.  When in a shopping cart people do not walk into her or spill things on her.

Next time you are out and you see a child sitting in a wheelchair remember they are a child first.  Look them in the eye, smile and say hello.  This actually goes for anyone sitting in a wheelchair or using a walker because my guess is they all have the same superpower my daughter has.


  1. So sad. Bethany is stared at and even looked on with disgust at times because she is a 16 yr old who acts and talks like a 2 year old. She is not invisible but she is ignored!

  2. I have a friend who on occasion uses a wheelchair - same thing!
    I hope I have become more aware because of this.
    Mind boggling, really.

  3. My dad was in a wheelchair from age 29 on. We experienced the looking away thing often. Dad would wheel right up to people and start talking to them. He was quite a guy! Thanks for adding it to's Tuesday special needs link share!

  4. I always felt uncomfortable until I was a mom and in the world of special needs. People don't know what to do and I'm so glad that you wrote this because YES people with differences are PEOPLE and we need to look them in the eye and say "hello" and SEE them.

  5. Most of my experience with people in wheel chairs is a bar. I know it's crazy, but a bar I used to go to religiously had a regular there. A guy. In a wheel chair. I used to dance with him since no one else would, and it kind of started a thing where the other girls saw it and wanted to do it to. I got that guy so many chicks by being the "competition." I think, after that experience, the girls wanted to dance with him BECAUSE he was in a wheel chair, but they were afraid to approach him because he was in a wheel chair.

    My autism experience is that it runs in my family. I most likely am on the spectrum. I know that feeling of wanting to be invisible, but the problem with autism is that we have poker faces. We are feeling things and not letting people see those feelings. We don't know how to show our feelings, verbally or nonverbally. And sometimes we want to be in the spotlight, but only when we are in the mood for it, but fortunately, we are very happy as children to get it from our parents, and in fact, it's more important to us to have our parents' admiration than anyone else's until we hit a certain age of maturity. So the fact that she is NOT invisible to you is the best thing you can give her. This is from a girl who was kind of invisible to her parents on account my sister is an attention seeking sociopath.