DISABILITY or THISABILITY: Understanding the MYTH and REALITY of Differently ABLED Children and their need for PROTECTION

Opening Charge: ‘Disability does not mean incapability: It is the wonderful diversity that enriches humankind.’ State of the World Children Report, 2013

Why the Discussion? It is important to hold this discussion because neglect to hold it does untold violence to the collective destiny of the children, who are erroneously categorized as disabled.

Please note that this is not a general discussion on children living with so-called disability. It is a specialized discussion focusing strictly on the need to protect the children, who are tagged, ‘disabled.’

In addressing the child protection issues, we will establish the problem of discrimination and abuse; discuss the types of what is called disability; trace the sources of abuse and discrimination, particularly in Africa; challenge our belief system by sharing unpopular but true perspective on disability; and establish protection as the number one need of every child, including those, who are said to be with disability.

I strongly believe that it is going to be an interesting yet challenging journey, yet I heartily invite you to join us as we explore change and its daring possibilities as it relates with this matter of children who are said to be living with disability.

By popular definition what is disability? According to Wikipedia, ‘disability is the consequence of an impairment that may be physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, emotional, developmental, or some combination of these. A disability may be present from birth, or occur during a person’s lifetime.’

Who are the children tagged disabled? Disability in children may include autism spectrum disorder, blindness/visual impairment, cerebral palsy, deafness, deafness and hearing loss, developmental delay, Down syndrome, emotional disturbance, epilepsy, intellectual disability and learning disabilities.

Facts and Figures: The World Report on Disability in 2011 reveals that 15 percent of the world’s population are said to have a disability and 106 million of these are believed to be children.

Please note that the definition of disability, quoted from Wikipedia, some of the so-called disability listed above and the facts and figures supplied by The World Report on Disability, referred to, are mere academic exercise as far as this discussion is concerned. They are used here not as authority of belief and philosophy on the matter. They are only used to satisfy the fact that we are aware of the general thinking and definitions on the serious subject of children, who are tagged disabled. Therefore, we will not dwell on the foregoing more than we have done as they do not go to the root of our discussion here.

The discussion continues tomorrow. Thank you for joining us. I charge you today to Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…

 

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I SEE…

I SEE…
I see beyond my nose…
I see beyond the stench…
I see beyond the stench of hatred…
I see beyond judgement…
I see beyond revenge…
I see beyond wars and it’s weapons of mass destruction…
I see Love…
I see GOD…
I see YOU made in His image, endowed to conform the earth to His ETERNAL WILL…
I see LOVE as both OUR BREATH and ONLY TOOL…
In YOU, fellow man, I see Huge HOPE for HUMANITY…
I SEE…
Taiwo Akinlami sober on his knees on the LORD’S Day

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs): 3 Most Destructive Doctrines against the Humanity of the Child, You Must Never Embrace (2)

There are three major crimes we commit against the child and render him/her permanently, except for divine intervention, Internally Displaced:

  • The Doctrine of Silent Treatment: the doctrine of silent treatment says, I keep quiet when a child is in danger of abuse or is being abused because I do not want to rock the boat. The boat of the dignity of human person of the child can be rocked on the platter of this cruel doctrine of silent treatment. I have said again and again that when a child is abused, there are three culprits, namely, first, the primary and secondary caregivers, who have a duty of care to protection the child. Their negligent in most cases provides cheap loopholes for the author of child abuse. Needless to say that there are many sad cases, where the primary and secondary caregivers are the abusers. The second culprit is the abuser, who capitalizes on the loopholes of the primary and secondary caregivers to launch an attack on the child. He is always looking for the loopholes to capitalize on. In fact he/she is a master at not only identifying opportunities to prey but to also create such opportunities. The third culprit is the doctrine of silence practitioner, who is aware that a child is being abused but keeps quiet for different reasons, which will never make sense to the destiny of the child. The third is the worst of all. The third is the engine room of abuse. The third is the reason for the seeming invincibility of the abusers. I have seen situation, where a father is sexually molesting the daughter for many years and the mother keeps quiet; I have seen a situation where a child is sexually abused by another teenage child and the mother choose to keep quiet in the name of stigmatization; I have seen a case where a four year old complains to the mother that she is being sexually molested by the teenage child of their neighbour she is kept with when the mother is not around, the mother never confronted the situation and she still continues to keep the child with the reported abuser.
  • The Doctrine of Tyranny: this doctrine says children do have any contribution to make and they must not be allowed to air their views on any matter, simply because they are children. The practitioners of this doctrine erroneously believe that adulthood is synonymous with the possession of exclusive views of life. The child’s view is not sought at all. When the child attempts to make a contribution, he/she is silenced shabbily and rudely too. He’s accused of being nosy. Gradually, the child is robbed of his/her priceless curiosity. He/she has no faith in his/her own views. His/her self-esteem and self-confidence is attacked. The unsuspecting caregiver finds all kinds of names to describe the products of their errors, they say the child is an introvert; the child is the quiet type. In actual fact the child is not quiet, he/she is subdued. He/she does not know the characteristics of an introvert; he/she knows the characteristics of a defeated mind, he/she being the eloquent example.
  •  The Doctrine of Labeling: this doctrine says, determine the potential of a child by what you perceive as his/her does wrong, even when your perception is not based on any fact of child development and label him/her according to that myopic perception. All forms of labeling are a crime against the humanity of the child. We brand children all kinds of labels, which have no justification in the informed dictionary of child development. A lady registers her five year old child in a primary school. She asks for the opinion of the teacher about the child after one week in the school. The teacher says, well, she is very brilliant child, but she talks too much. I begin to wonder what it means for a child to talk too much. I know that this is general labeling by primary and secondary caregivers. They say a child talks too much, when in actual fact such labeling is a symptom of unprofessionalism. A child does not talk too much. A child simply talks. It is the responsibility of the caregivers to help the child regulate his/her talk. If a child talks during the class, for example and the teacher becomes frustrated, it simply means, the teacher does not have control over his/her class. There are steps; he/she must be able to take to maintain order in his/her classroom. The practitioners of the doctrine of labeling are always in the habit of labeling according to their ignorance. This has eternal impact on the child’s mind. The child is either trying to proof the label wrong or trying to conform to the label.

I charge you today to reduce the number of Internally Displaced Persons in our continent and make a conscious effort not to find yourself as a practitioner of the doctrines we have identified here as the author of Internally Displaced Children. I charge you today to Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs): 3 Most Destructive Doctrines against the Humanity of the Child, You Must Never Embrace (1)

I have continued to burden myself with thoughts about the future and hope of the African Child. The more I think, the more I see huge hope for the future. Yet when I consider the enormity of the challenges confronting the African child and the hypocrisy of the primary and secondary caregivers, the huge hope I see seems to be nothing but blind optimism, borne out of my burning desire for a better life for the African child. Yet, I know that there is not hopeless situation anywhere, only hopeless people, according to Claire Boothe.

Having been between the two worlds of thoughts in my mind, I find the thought of huge hope gaining more grounds than that of despondency. And I have come to the irresistible conclusion that hope conceived and concealed is hope deferred, but hope shared, gradually develops a life of its own and finds wings to soar beyond the taming machinations of the enemies. Silence in the face of moral crisis is very powerful. It is only that such power is never on the side of the oppressed but the oppressor. I am therefore here today, in hope against hope to plead a cause, I live to plead, the noble cause of the Nigerian child. I desire that you catch the fire as you read and you do not only catch the fire, you become a touch, which passes on the beam of hope.

I found this title apt today to discuss one major issue as it relates to the African child. It is the impact of child abuse on the internal setting of the child and lack of social support services for the African child in his own country. Who is an internally displaced person? An internally displaced person (IDP) is someone who is forced to flee his or her home but who remains within his or her country’s borders. Many factors may be responsible for people being internally displaced, ranging from civil war, terrorist attacks, natural disasters etc. Though these persons are within the four walls of their nations, they are displaced and dislocated. They live as refugees in their own country. In fact they bear same characteristics as refugees.

Today I find a parallel between Internally Displaced People and their many sufferings and the suffering of children, who live within their own homes but yet suffer untold abuses. They live like strangers (refugees) in their own homes. They suffer from what I call siege mentality. Though, they are at home in the midst of their family members, who are supposed to be friends, their small minds have been so warred that they believe with their conscious and sub-conscious that they are in the midst of enemies. The number one symptom of siege mentality is fear. From fear paranoia sets in and puts the child on the edge. He/she seeks nothing but the day of emancipation at this point.

I also find another sad but interesting parallel, an abused child is Internally Displaced, that is, his/her mind and internal workings are damaged. His/her psyche is badly wounded. He/she is at his/her best a shadow of his/her true potentials invested by God before the foundation of the world. I submit that abuse changes everything about the child. It dehumanizes, it subjugates, and it destroys the whole essence of a person’s existence, having forcefully taken away the person’s dignity of human person.

To be Internally Displaced is to suffer abuses in the places that are supposed to be the safest for you. It is also for those who are supposed to be your caregiver to strip you of all the internal fiber of dignity installed into you by your Creator.

This discussion continues tomorrow by the grace of God. I charge you today to Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…

THINKING ALOUD AND SOBERLY ON MY KNEES ON THIS LORD’S DAY…

These THREE are CONSTANT in LIFE:
GOD AND HIS PRINCIPLES…
The foundational and sustaining authority of all CREATURES and CREATIONS…
CHOICES…
The world’s MOST POTENT, yet MOST UNDERRATED CURRENCY…
CHANGE…
Ever-present POSSIBILITY, ANSWERING ONLY to RESPONSIBILITY
When a man is CONSCIOUS and MASTERS the workings of these THREE CONSTANTS, he puts into operation his HUMAN INGENUITY, which stands on these TWO PILLARS of EXPRESSION:
Every HUMAN BEING is LIMITLESS in his CAPACITY to CREATE…
Every HUMAN BEING is LIMITLESS in his OPTIONS…
This is the real ESSENCE of DESTINY…
What is this DESTINY?
SIMPLE: An INFORMED and UNCOMPROMISING COMMITMENT to FULL EXPRESSION to all of GOD’S INSTALLED POTENTIALS inside of you…
When the foregoing becomes your INFORMED and UNCOMPROMISING COMMITMENT, you become INVINCIBLE, an ENIGMA, whose DOMINANT TRAITS are these FIVE:
NO FEAR: Freedom the hold of consequences…
NO SURPRISES: Living Conscious and Curious…
NO HESITATION: Acting promptly/No Room for procrastination…
NO DOUBT: upholding the power of BELIEF over the common weakness of mere mortals, double-mindedness/double standards…
NO GREED: Living according to the age-long principle of SCENES and SEASONS…