Georgia Tallis is a disabled parent from Leamington Spa she has a condition called Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) it is a genetic disease that causes muscle weakness.
– Featured blog – Rolling with Lio
1. Do you feel there isn’t much help out there for disabled people wanting to have a child?
I feel more and more disabled people are having children, but social services and the community in general don’t know how to deal with these situations as they’re not used to this happen on a daily basis. Nothing is set in place for disabled parents. I found out whilst researching there is a charity which adapts equipment for disabled people and they do a lot for parents with a disabled child. I only know a few disabled mums and mostly there is support out there for them but not much equipment available.
2. What would you have liked to have seen on the Internet about disabled parenting?
I would have like to have seen more you tube videos of disabled parenting. This would have been good to see and there are also not many websites or information available, it’s quite limited what you can find out. Then again everyone’s needs are so specific, I suppose it is more difficult to share information which could help other disabled parents. What works for one person may be completely useless to another disabled parent.
3. Were you scared about having a baby, if so how did you overcome this?
I was slightly scared but no more scared than anyone else. I had the same doubts as all parents not all to do with disability. Having to organising my support workers worried me slightly, and knowing I’d have to have people around us constantly with a new baby, it’s an intimate and emotional time that we have had to share with a lot of people. But we couldn’t do it without them so I can’t really complain about it.
4. What were the positive or negatives reactions when you told people you wanted to have a child?
Luckily it was mainly positive reactions! The main question people tended to ask me was how I was going to cope with being a parent. Most people were supportive and positive and also interested in how I was going to do certain things. Even the doctors were very positive, although maybe a little over cautious about potential medical problems during pregnancy and my birth.
5. Do you think disability awareness is lacking in the media and how can we change this?
I do think it is getting better! We still need to see more disabled role models on TV and film. There is a disabled actress on coronation street who has had a baby and I believe there is something similar happening in Eastenders. So things are really catching up with reality.
6. How did you prepare for the arrival of Lio?
I started by looking into what equipment would be best for our baby. The Co sleeper which is a cot that attaches to the side of your bed, so you can just reach over as opposed to getting up and walking anywhere. This is ideal for us.
Talking to my support workers about how I envision things working so they wouldn’t start takeover when it came to taking care of Lio. Also Talking to them about extra shifts and sleep overs so I had the help I needed. Apart from that it’s all been trial and error so far.
7. What’s the best advice you received whilst you were pregnant?
My best advice was to enjoy the experience. It’s likely I won’t be having anymore children so I made a conscious effort to enjoy every minute of pregnancy and to enjoy every second with Lio.
8. Is there any advice you would like to give to parents with a disabled child?
My advice for parents with a disabled child is to try and not cotton wool them. Let them experience everything any other child would do.
9.What advice can you give a disabled person who’s wanting to have a child?
Go for it! At the end of the day you will find your own ways of doing things that work best for you as a parent! It’s a really good idea to make sure you have a good family and friends support network!
10. What’s the best tip you can give someone when they meet a person with a disability?
Treat them normally! Get to know them and not their disability.
Please check out Georgia’s blog
Interview by indymediajunkie