Ask the Counselors

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  • Kindly assist me, I got disabled as a teenager due to sickness, since then I believe my family thinks I’m an embarrassment to them. Before then I knew everyone loved me, we used to go together to places with my parent and siblings. After my sickness, no one asks for my company, when invited for functions my siblings and parents will attend. They think they would be mistreating me due to my struggles, so for them its better I remain at home. Do they really love me?

Dear Anonymous,

How we think and perceive our environment dictate our attitude and behaviour. If we think that other people hate us, we unconsciously engage in behavior that may cause hatred and indeed others will end up hating us. Therefore, a negative view of ourselves and the world will lead to more problems and make other people begin to think we are not worthy of love. I would like to urge you to think positively about your disability and avoid self pity. This will make your behavior more receptive and make you a family member who is more desirable. It will also significantly change the attitudes of your family members towards you.

It also appears to me that you have not yet accepted your disability and embraced it positively. This is probably because you acquired your disability in later life. I would like to advise you to accept your disability and look out for the positive traits that you have and avoid focusing on your disability as an impediment to your social life.

  • Am a person without any Disability,I fear interacting with disabled because they are sensitive and self-centered, sometimes I find as if they take advantage of their disabilities. Please guide me.

Hello,

Persons with disability are human like any other person. They have emotions and can react to external stimuli that appeal to any of their senses. We should not generalize and make conclusions about all persons with disability. This is because every person is unique and has been shaped differently through their unique experiences in the environment. Persons with disability become sensitive if they perceive that other people do not appreciate them.

It’s imperative that you try to support them to realize their potential as well as giving them the dignity and respect they deserve. Avoiding negative and demeaning comments will make them feel accepted and open to you. Stigmatization will drive them into solitude and make it difficult for them to have any meaningful relationship with other people without disability.

  • I have this boyfriend who says he loves me so much, he always visits me in my house and we really enjoy each other company, but he will not introduce me to his friends as a girlfriend. Whenever I request we go out together he always finds excuses for us to stay indoors, does it mean he is embarrassed of my disability or am I paranoid?

Dear Anonymous,

It appears to me that your relationship with your boyfriend is not balanced. For any meaningful relationship to work, reciprocity is a key factor. Your boyfriend does not seem to have genuine feelings and might be in this relationship for his selfish interests. That explains why he can only meet you in the house. In all human interactions, we are always evaluating the costs versus benefits of any relationship. If you notice that you are putting in much more than you are receiving, that relationship is not sustainable. In addition, the other party should be perceived to be complimentary.

I urge you to become assertive and have an open discussion with your boyfriend on how you feel about this relationship. If he is not willing to open up, you are better off moving on with your life. You will find someone better who will value you and not take advantage of your disability. It also important to keep remaining yourself of your positive attributes as this will build your self esteem hence help you to avoid falling prey to people who may wish to exploit you on the basis of your disability.

  • How can I relate well with people at work and make the best out of it without feeling my disability is an obstacle?

Hello,

The workplace can be a challenging environment for persons with disability depending on the type of disability and the degree of impairment. Nevertheless, PWDs can be productive at their workplace just like any other employee of the company. Below are some tips to improve your work relations and enhance performance:

  • Make your needs in relation to your disability known to your employer at the time of being recruited in the company. This will help you gain their support in making you a productive employee.
  • Endeavor to learn ad adapt to the Organizational culture of your company. It will put you at the same level with other employees who are not disabled hence help you to create good working relations with other employees. Every Organization has a unique culture which one has to learn adapt to fit in.
  • Always strive to accomplish your assignments on time and avoid using your disability as a shield for poor performance. This will make your supervisor and employer to value your contribution to the achievement of the set goals and objectives.
  • Balance your work and leisure to be more effective in accomplishing your tasks as time management is a performance indicator.

I am a young girl with a physical disability, I admire my parents’ marriage and would wish to get married too. However almost all the  women with disabilities I have met are single mothers and tell me it’s hard to be married when you have a disability, I am a Christian but I also want my own children, what should I do?

Dear reader,

Just because you have disability does not mean that you are any less human than anyone around you nor does it mean that you do not have the right to desire the kind of life you want to have.  It is wonderful that you have a model marriage that you can look up to, that is something you should not take for granted.

A marriage can be a success or failure despite one of the spouse having a disability, in short, just because there is absence of a disability does not guarantee a perfect marriage. Being a Christian young girl, continue upholding the Christian values you believe in, socialize with the opposite sex in a responsible manner and as you draw closer to God, He will bring the right people into your life at the right time.

  • I graduated from the university 4 years ago, I have gone for so many interviews and most of the time they keep asking me about how I will work if employed yet am blind, I feel rejected and I have given up on applying for jobs kindly advise me.

Dear Graduate,

First I would like to know the answer you give the interviewing panel whenever they ask you how you will be able to perform at work. Remember that you have to prove your worth to the prospective employer or someone else will take your chance. That notwithstanding, the fact that you’re a graduate says a lot about your employability and it is unfortunate that the unemployment rate among the youth who have graduated is rising every day. This is not to say that you should give up, but rather that you can keep applying and sharpening your interview skills as you find new approaches to respond to employers during interviews.

Something else you can also pursue is self-employment, being a young person; there are very many opportunities out there you can pursue to generate some income. Find something you are good at, perfect it and you can draw some income out of it as you continue your job search. All the best!

  • If someone was born with a disability, will my child have a disability too?

Dear reader,

There are many causes of disability: some could be hereditary while others could be caused by mutations of genes without any specific origin. It is important to have full understanding of the disability you may have as well as the risk factors involved. If the disability is hereditary, a doctor will be best placed to advice on any preventive measures that can be taken to prevent your children from acquiring the disability.