Over the years, parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs have told us many stories about dealing with bias, unfairness, racism, ableism or discrimination against their child. We’ve also heard from children themselves as they grow up. Bias is an opinion that makes things worse or better for some people more than others. It can lead to unfair actions or discrimination where someone does not get what they need or deserve because of their disability, health needs, race, skin color, religion or faith, gender, sexuality, age, language they speak, education level, region of the state they’re from or something else.
We have heard stories about things like:
Inspired by painful moments, parents also regularly tell us how they deal with the hurt and worry they feel. They get stronger and develop a thicker skin so they can speak up for their child and family to get respect and help. When needed, they’ve used legal tools or advocacy.
See also our important pages on:
A lot of the time, part of this journey includes connecting with other parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs. Strong bonds can come out of difficult moments. Parents and caregivers find allies who share pieces of their identity and culture - people who just “get it.” Bias and discrimination can be hard to prove and exhausting to deal with. Allies are important people who make the journey and its bumps easier.