Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Musing on Inclusion.....

Source: 123f images

On my Tray of Bliss today is another question on inclusion...or rather exclusion.

Why does something that comes so easily when we're kids, become so much more fraught with difficulty when we're adults?

If you follow my blog, you'll know that we've had some inclusion issues with our disabled son over recent times.

I've been struggling with this for years. Mostly we cope well, and find ways and means of our son being accepted in the wider community.

Let's face it, mostly friendships are formed around a common interest, be it sport, dance, techno wizardry or sometimes, and most significantly, something that stems from the heart and soul of a person.

When I thought long and hard about our sons recent and quite deliberate and calculated exclusion from a ten pin bowling league, I had to ask myself some difficult questions. It's very easy to fly off the handle and scream discrimination (which I did), and not look at it from the other persons point of view.

The truth is exclusion is a part of life for all of us. Where my daughter dances, she and we are excluded from many events. It doesn't matter, because we are either blissfully unaware or don't want to be included anyway. And perhaps therein lays the key.

Exclusion can only affect us if we firstly are aware that we have been excluded, and secondly, wanted to be included in the first place.

In our sons' case, he has said that the people in the League at bowling probably weren't his kind of people anyway, so that solves the 'wanting to be included'. As for the knowledge of being 'excluded', well that ship has sailed as he is well aware of his exclusion in this instance. Maybe they should call themselves a Bowling Clique, and not a Bowling League. I wonder if they've considered that their behaviour is a form of adult bullying?

I think, in future, we will research more compehensively, and not dive in with both feet quite so quickly. Had I not taken the Bowling Alley Managers word for it that Mr A would be welcomed with open arms (not so), then perhaps we would not have accessed this particular avenue for him. That certainly would have alleviated some hearteache.

In the end, those already in a 'group' of any kind, are somewhat entitled to decide who joins the 'group. I don't like it, but it is a way of life for some, isn't it.

We will now encourage Mr A to form his own 'group' of friends with common interests, as we've always done before, and worry not about the myriad other 'groups' who may seek to exclude him for their own petty reasons.

We will also seek to ensure that we don't force our own ideas on social activities upon him. Not that that's happened here, but he's actually happy enough to bowl with friends and family. So why force a League upon him?'s never an easy road, is it?

What's on your Tray of Bliss today?

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