I have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It causes me pain and discomfort, and leads me to take twenty or more daily trips to the bathroom. It’s embarrassing to have a toileting disability in a world that giggles over bathroom humor. That’s why it’s important to me that I get to decide how and how much to disclose about my condition and symptoms.
Too many parents of disabled children seem not to realize this. They will talk publicly about their older child’s diarrhea or constipation, their night wetting, their accidents. What’s worse, often these parents will blog or post using their legal name and their child’s.
If a prospective romantic partner or employer Googled your name, would you want a post from your mother about your explosive poop to be the first result? Unless you work in fetish porn, probably not. So why would you manufacture that fat for your child?
Most disabled children survive to become disabled adults, which is good. Your child may grow up to go to university or get married or become a foster parent. It’s dangerous to make negative life predictions about our children’s future capabilities.
You may be thinking “Angie your child is less disabled than mine” and you may be right. Still I have known too many people who were presumed incompetent only to prove their parents wrong later to shut doors to futures when their bodies and brains are still immature.
You should blog as if someday your child will read it. Blog as if they will apply for work someday. Blog as if someday and today they deserve dignity, respect, and privacy. Don’t post anything about them you wouldn’t want someone else posting about you.
This world is not very accepting of toilet troubles. Many adults with IBS, Chron’s disease, urinary incontinence and other toileting related disabilities are bringing awareness to these issues and working on building tolerance. This work should be done by people willing to disclose their own medical issues. It should not be done without patient consent, even if the patient is your child.