Disability is Not a Bad Word

By Sherri Inscho, mother of Gabby, diagnosed with TM at the age of 2

Disability is not a bad word. For my daughter, Gabby, it meant the ability to do something her way, or as I now call it “the Gabby way.”

Let me tell you a little background on me so you can understand my daughter, Gabby. As a child and into adulthood, I have always been drawn to children with disabilities. I saw their strength in functioning in their lives and was in awe of how they saw their world. I was blessed to experience being a mother of a daughter who became a quadriplegic at the age of two. My husband and I decided to not disable her but continue to parent her as who she is. We saw that her mind was sound. It was just her body that changed. Because of that, Gabby was strong and never let her disability stop her. She taught others the same.

I have many stories of Gabby from her friends and other people who knew her. One of them is about how I would have to call the parents of Gabby’s friends when she would be invited to a party to ask about their house and how it was set up. One parent was very confused by this and finally asked me why I was asking these questions about her house, She didn’t know about Gabby’s disability. I replied that Gabby was in a wheelchair. She was shocked, as she said her son never mentioned anything. That is who Gabby was. Children did not see her wheelchair; they only saw Gabby. And that is what all people in the disability community want —to be seen for themselves and not their differences. To be treated as a person.

Gabby passed away in 2017 at the age of 10. As she lived, she taught that disability is not bad, it is the ability to try something differently. After her passing, and as I grieved her loss, I wrote and published a book on Gabby’s strength and determination to not let her disability stop her from having a life. I share this book with others and let them know it is okay to be who you are and to achieve your objectives your way.

If I can help one person understand that having a disability is a strength and that you can do whatever you want just like any other person, then Gabby’s teaching will live on. If I can teach one person to see a person with a disability as just a person with creative ways to live, then Gabby’s teaching will live on.

You can purchase Sherri’s book, This is Gabby: a person like you, on Amazon here.