This has always been a constant thorn in my side. I find that a lot of young children stare at me and my wheelchair while I am out in public. I can walk through the streets and be met with the eyes of children, blankly staring at me. I also find that I am stared at a lot while I’m shopping.
Children stare at me and then don’t seem to drop their gaze until either I pass them or they have passed me, I sometimes catch them still looking back me out the corner of my eye, twisting their head so they can keep me in sight.
Often I find that the majority of children staring at me are usually aged between two and seven years old. The children these ages seem to have germless and blank stares as if they’re not registering that they’re staring at me. It can be annoying and wearing, but I can understand they may be just curious about why I am not walking and they do not realise its rude, they may not even realise they are doing it.
As well as this, I receive stares from those aged up to fourteen. This is a little bit more frustrating as the children of these ages should understand more and know better than to stare.
Even if there there’s a lack of understanding on their behalf, I find it obscenely irritating for those aged 10 and over stare gormlessly at me without any consideration for me what so ever. To make it slightly easier and a little more comical for me, I have learnt to stare back and possibly stick my tongue out at them.
Parents should teach their children basic manners and to consider other people’s feelings, I feel that parents have a responsible to educate their children that some people are slightly different to others. If this does lead to children coming up to me or anyone with a disability and asks questions, then all the better.
There’s no need to stare, if they are curious to know why I’m in a wheelchair, what it means to be in one and what is wrong with me, then just ask, I do not bite.
As for the elderly, you’d think they’d know better.