Thursday 22 February 2018

Proudest day of my little girl's life was ruined for us

'Mild' in relation to disability should be a cause for celebration, but not in this country

Illustration: Tom Halliday.
Illustration: Tom Halliday.
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

So we sit facing the psychologist braced for the verdict. It will either be bad news or bad news. She is a nice woman and you can't blame her for the situation, but I find myself resenting her for what she represents. Even though I suspect she thinks that this is all as farcical as I do.

The last time I saw the psychologist I was answering really intrusive questions about my four-year-old. The psychologist, to give her her due, was apologetic about the questions. And I and my wife, to my shame, were talking my daughter down.

I talked down her ability to do everything from go to the bathroom to eat her dinner. I even told the psychologist something that I hadn't really told anyone else, something that I had not witnessed myself, but something that we all generally found too awful to conjure up by speaking it. In summer my little girl nearly died. As in, she probably would have if she hadn't had the incredible luck to have a heroic paramedic in the room, who only happened to be in the same place as her by total fluke. And he struggled, but he saved Mary from choking.

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