30 Days of MD: Allie Schmidt

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by Kevin Schaefer |

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Day 26 of 30 Days of MD Topic: Parenting With MD This is @disability_dame’s story: Hi, I’m Allie. For the past 4+ years, I’ve been living with a rare form of muscular dystrophy that’s causing my arms to become paralyzed. The most similar disease is ALS – but for some unknown reason – the disease has stayed confined to just my arms. Since raising my son while living with muscular dystrophy, I’ve found a resilience that I never knew was possible. Every diaper change, bottle feeding and outfit swap is a challenge that I must creatively hack in order to parent like any other able-bodied person. Patience is my biggest ally. As it currently stands, there are regulations that inhibit federal help for parents with disabilities. If you have a disability, you can receive federal assistance. If you have a child with a disability, you can receive federal assistance. However, if you are a parent with a disability and need help for your non-disabled child, there is no such assistance. I believe this stems from the misconception that people with disabilities can’t make good parents. I truly believe that parents with disabilities can demonstrate firsthand the values that we all want instilled in our children. I can show my son the value of inclusion by leading through example. I can tell my son why empathy matters. And most of all, I can teach my son that physical strength isn’t the only way to be strong. My goal is to help change the stigma around parents with disabilities. I started DisabilityDame.com to raise awareness and provide tips and resources for other moms living with chronic disease and disability. Without representation, parents with disabilities are left feeling alone, or even worse, like they’re living in a world where their lives aren’t considered. I hope Disability Dame can be an outlet for moms who often feel like they’re excluded from the overall conversation of motherhood. Good moms come in different shapes, sizes and forms. We have to start showing it. #MDAwarenessMonth #MDAwareness #30DaysofMD

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