Tuesday, April 7, 2009
A friend of mine passed on this video of one of the most inspiring young women. HeeAh Lee was born with only two fingers on each hand and legs that had to be amputated at her knees. She was so sick and weak when she was young, the doctors didn’t think that she would survive. Her spirit proved them wrong.
Her hands were so weak that her mother started her taking piano lessons, hoping that it would help. HeeAh Lee surprised everyone. Not only did her fingers get stronger, but she was amazingly gifted. She learned to play piano better than most pianists that play with 10 fingers. Audiences around the world now hear her play.
When I played this video the other day, Tyler, my 18 year old son, happened to be nearby. A piano player himself, he asked who was playing the piano on the computer. When I told him that it was a young woman with 4 fingers, he didn’t believe me. He actually had to come and watch for himself. As he watched, he told me how hard that piece was.
After watching this, I thought about another of my children who has a severe hand disability. It really made me think about the expectations that I have set for him and made me rethink the best way to parent him. This video made me think about special needs and how I view them.
When you look at a person with a disability, do you think about those things that they can’t do instead of being open minded about their abilities? Do we set lower expectations raising a child with a disability? How do we best parent a child with a disability, giving them all the support they need but not setting limits?