Credo for Support

  • Do not see my disability as a problem. Recognize that my disability is an attribute.
  • Do not see my disability as a deficit. It is you who see me as deviant and helpless.
  • Do not try to fix me because I am not broken. Support me. I can make my contribution to the community in my way.
  • Do not see me as your client. I am your fellow citizen. See me as your neighbor. Remember, none of us can be self-sufficient.
  • Do not try to modify my behavior. Be still and listen. What you define as inappropriate may be my attempt to communicate with you in the only way I can.
  • Do not try to change me, you have no right. Help me learn what I want to know.
  • Do not hide your uncertainty behind “professional” distance. Be a person who listens and does not take my struggle away from me by trying to make it all better.
  • Do not use theories and strategies on me. Be with me. And when we struggle with each other, let me give that rise to self-reflection.
  • Do not try to control me. I have a right to my power as a person. What you call non-compliance or manipulation may actually be the only way I can exert control over my life.
  • Do not teach me to be obedient, submissive, and polite. I need to feel entitled to say no if I am to protect myself.
  • Do not be charitable to me. The last thing the world needs is another Jerry Lewis. Be my ally against those who exploit me for their own gratification.
  • Do not try to be my friend. I deserve more then that. Get to know me. We may become friends.
  • Do not help me even if it does make you feel good. Ask me if I need your help. Let me show you how to better assist me.
  • Do not admire me. A desire to live a full life does not warrant adoration. Respect me for respect presumes equity.
  • Do not tell, correct and lead. Listen, support and follow.
  • Do not work on me. Work with me.

By Norman Kunc