Posted by: altmike | February 18, 2015

5 Things Every Limb Difference Family Should Know

Limb defiance 1

Growing up with a limb difference has taught me many things about the world, some ugly but some very beautiful. It hasn’t always been easy, but in all honesty what in life is easy that’s worth having at the end of the day; not very much. So I thought that I would compile a list of a few things that all limb difference kids and families should know growing up. You know the old saying “I wish I knew then, what I know now”…Hopefully this helps the learning curve a little. Enjoy!

1. Being Different is a Gift, Not a Curse.

At times its hard to see the good in all situations, I know that. However, at the end of the day embracing the fact that you are different is the best way to handle it. I am a strong believer in things happening for a reason and I truly believe that children blessed with a limb difference were given a little extra strength than most to handle it as they grow up. Those with a limb difference can sympathize easier with others who are different and they often have a better outlook on life because they have had to accomplish and overcome more obstacles at an earlier age. It’s our version of a sixth sense, we can see and foresee awkward situations before they happen, we can tell how our reaction to someone else’s question is going. When you talk, people listen. People want to know your story if you are comfortable with sharing it, which is a very powerful tool.

  1. You are not alone.

The great thing about the time that we live in today is that resources are not far away. They are there at any given moment under a google search bar. When I was growing up, the internet wasn’t as prominent as it is today, so I had no idea that their were other kids out there like me. It shocked me when I found out about all of these other families and children that had hands just like me. It was extremely relieving to me to know that I wasn’t alone. Finding pages like the Lucky Fin Project, Born Just Right and I Am Adaptive showed me that people are powerful beyond measure!

  1. You are going to get teased.

Unfortunately it is a way of life that there will be bullies out there and some unfortunate words uttered that are directed towards you. The best way to handle it is to just brush it off or be able to laugh at yourself….thats right, be able to laugh at yourself. Life should never be taken so seriously that you cant crack a joke at your own expense to lighten the mood a little bit. I found that when I made a joke about my hands first, that it did two things. One, it took the punch line away from someone else and secondly it empowered me to control the direction of the conversation.

  1. Quality is better than quantity.

Keep the friends and the people in your life that are going to be there for you through the thick and thin. I would rather have two or three really good friends, than be the most popular person around. My best friend is a guy who stood up for me against a bully in high school and I realized from that moment forward that he was someone that I could trust and rely on. He saw me for who I am and we became friends from that moment on. Kids today get caught up in being surrounded by people and more people is supposed to equate to more happiness; that isn’t always the case. Embrace those true friends and lean on them because they will have your back and stand up to any nay sayers much quicker than the numerous acquaintances we have in our lives.

  1. You matter!

People might not always say something and go out of their way to talk to you but know that 99% of what you do is considered amazing in somebodies eyes. Its undeniable that every person with a limb difference is inspirational in some way. People usually feel awkward about telling someone that, but the fact remains. I get inspired when I see other adults or kids with a limb difference. The key is to never get down on yourself, you are most likely making a difference in somebodies life just by going through your daily routine and you don’t even know it!

Can’t is Not an Excuse

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