As a parent of twins, life was always going to be hectic. Raising children of the same age is not easy as there is always something that needs to be done.
But to also have a child with a disability is a whole new level of difficult, yet also gives a completely new insight into the world.
Raising twins, you expect everything to be the same.
Yet when one is disabled the contrasts quickly appear and only increase as they get older.
When Rory and Alfie were babies, it was hard to tell that Alfie is disabled, because at that age, Rory was of the same physical ability.
But as time goes on, and Rory has learnt to walk, and talk and is developing at a terrifying rate, it is easy to see how disabled children can be left behind.
How society expects them to achieve less and therefore offers them less support and opportunities to progress.
So, you become an advocate, whether you want to or not. You force society to accept and embrace your child, the way they embrace other children.
Because Alfie is likely to be wheelchair bound,
the majority of his professionals expected us to put him in a special needs school and try to move our focus from helping Alfie to progress and develop, to simply making Alfie ‘comfortable’.
But there is no reason why he cannot be comfortable and healthy whilst also progressing and developing.
There is no reason why Alfie’s education should be less important than another child’s.
There is no reason why Alfie cannot have the same opportunities as Rory.
You also see the inequalities that society tries to hide.
Be promoting inclusion, it is as though society feels it is doing its part, yet when you look below the surface...
There is still so much missing for disabled people that you are fighting an uphill battle before you even realise it.
Rory is expected to have some level of independence at the tender age of 2, yet Alfie is expected to be reliant on others for the rest of his life and will have to fight for equality.
But the journey Alfie, and every other person with a disability, will go on is no less important than anyone else’s journey.
It is simply different. It may take them longer to complete a task, but they can still get the same result, they may have a different method, but the same outcome.
Their journey is no less interesting and exciting so why does society make it so much harder?
Why is the world not as open for Alfie as it is for Rory and when will it change?