Disability and rehabilitation

New Zealand: Kiringaua

Kiringaua is eight-years old and born with spina bifida. He writes about the joys of being an eight-year old, and the advantages and disadvantages of living with a disability.

Photograph courtesy of Otago Daily Times

Hello, my name is Kiringaua. I am 8 years old and I am going to tell you about my spina bifida.

From my point of view spina bifida has been easy, for example: if I wanted a drink all I would have to do was just ask for it nicely to my big brother and he would just go get it without saying a word.

I can wheel myself to school. I enjoy kapa haka, karate, sailing, swimming, singing and cooking. I am one of the best readers in my peer group. My school teachers, friends and family are supportive because they know what i am capable of.

And also the bad part of spina bifida is when it comes to fights. My little brother is always having fights with me even though he thinks he can beat me up he always loses.

Another thing is when it comes to teasing. Kids from other schools tease me just because I am in a wheelchair. I really think it is annoying when people tease you just because you are disabled.

Anyway they got over teasing me because I had some pretty good comebacks like one time this boy was making faces and strange noises at me and I said “are you okay or are you retarded” and after that he never messed with me again.

P.S. If I wanted to change anything it would be people’s attitude toward disabled people to treat us as normal people instead of feeling sorry for us or thinking we are dumb.