I am often asked to do interviews on the topic of accessible travel and sometimes on my experience parenting a child with a disability. The Have Wheelchair Will Travel website has given me an outlet to share my parenting journey and in doing so my hope has always been to assist others. Sometimes that’s by admitting to the challenges and sometimes it’s writing about the wins and joy I often feel. It’s been a positive process for me. Reflection has really assisted me in realising my strength, even when I’ve felt on the verge of faltering. Despite all we’ve been through and all that’s been achieved, I still experience moments of doubt. Those ‘what ifs’ creep in and I remind myself that hindsight is a marvellous thing but any decisions I’ve made parenting and caring for Braeden have been made with the best of intentions at the time. I can’t change the past but I can learn from it. So, I found it interesting chatting to Kim Chakanetsa from BBC The Conversation about my experiences parenting a disabled child.
BBC The Conversation interview – parenting a disabled child
I recorded the interview with Kim and her team at The Conversation at the end of March. I shared the interview with Gopika Kapoor, a parent of a son with autism who lives in India. Gopika is an advocate, author and therapist and throughout the interview I found it remarkable to hear how many of our experiences were similar. I guess if you put too fierce mamma bears, who are also strong advocates for their child with a disability, together you are likely to share many views. We both have a positive outlook while being realistic and honest about our role as parents to a child with a disability. I found myself nodding along as Gopika spoke.
During an interview there is no shying away from the hard questions, like answering how I feel about Braeden’s future as we get older, how our marriage has been affected by Braeden’s diagnosis and more. Like most parents of a child with a disability we experienced seismic shift in life as we knew it but also many positives.
The interview is 26 minutes long and if you’re interested you can listen on this link – BBC The Conversation – parenting a disabled child.