DAD.info
Free online course for separated parents
Forum - Ask questions. Get answers.
Free online course for separated parents

Inclusion

I chuckled as I got into Matt’s car. He had a faux number plate sign hanging from his rear view mirror:  “D4DS T4X1” it read. Sound familiar?

A few minutes later we were careening down the A1 at breakneck speed. Matt, the Chief Executive of the Family Matters Institute (who run Dadtalk), was driving and we were on our way to talk to a group of nursery providers about the importance of inclusion in mainstream nurseries for disabled children. We were running a little late and I was reviewing Matt’s presentation as we hurtled south to Hatfield.

I looked across at him quizzically, “Are you sure you want to irradiate disability? It seems a little harsh to want to nuke disabled people.”

Matt risked taking his eyes off the blurred road for a second, “No, I want to eradicate disability. I want people to accept disability as another form of diversity that we should embrace. It’s about wanting to change the way we see disabled people, not wanting to change the disabled.”

“Ah,” I said, “Do you want me to change the presentation?”

We got there just in time and stormed into the room of about a hundred women who were just wrapping up the previous session. After a few words from the host, Matt introduced me as a guest speaker.

I got up and spoke for about twenty minutes about what life is like as the parent of a disabled child – the stresses and the strains and the joys and the celebrations. I enthused about how important acceptance and inclusion is for the families of disabled children. To be honest I was preaching to the choir. This group in Hertfordshire instinctively understood the message that I wanted to get across which was that disabled children are an important part of our community and that we all benefit from living side by side with them. Twenty first century Britain has no room for nineteenth century Romanian orphanages.

After a few questions, we were running short of time and unfortunately Matt did not have the chance to go through his presentation. As we got back into Matt’s car to prepare for the journey back home I looked at the sign hanging from the rear view mirror. Because I had overrun it wasn’t just his kids that Matt was ferrying around that day.

“Where to Boss?”  He joked as we set off.

“Home James,” I replied.

Related entries

Too old for this

Too old for this

It was late on a Thursday evening and Rodger and I were walking up Upper Street in Islington, looking for a Thai restaurant. We were a little worse for wear   “You OK?” he asked looking at my awkward gait. “Yeah,” I said with that little inflection that indicated...

Too old for this

The big day

I could hear the rustling from the room next-door and glanced at my watch: 6:30 am. I groaned to myself but there was a certain inevitability about it   The kids bounded into our room moments later. “Is Uncle Steve here? Is he here?” They asked excitedly. “Yes,...

Too old for this

The big questions

I was walking home from school with my five year old daughter. As we approached our front door she looked up at me   “Daddy?” she asked in that tone of voice that all dads will recognise as a precursor to something that they’ve been pondering. “Yes?” I answered...

Latest entries

One on one time with children- the benefits

One on one time with children- the benefits

When it comes to building a deeper bond, you can't beat one on one time with children. There are a number of great benefits not only for your relationship but also for your child's wellbeing and confidence. What is one on one time? One on one time is time devoted to...

Parents call for smartphones ban for under 16s

Parents call for smartphones ban for under 16s

MPs are being pushed to consider a smartphones ban under 16s following a number of tragic deaths. The mother of murdered teenager Brianna Ghey, who was killed by two 15 year olds, has asked for both Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer to consider measures to stop children...

How to help children with anxiety

How to help children with anxiety

It can be tricky to know how to help children with anxiety problems- as parents it's difficult to know what to say or do for the best. However, there are a number of tools that you can guide your child to use to fell better, and draw upon to regulate their emotions...

Pin It on Pinterest