Skip to main content

Left Out Phenomenon

Lately when pushing Ben in his wheelchair, people I know, say hello to me and not to Ben. And if you are thinking, they might be saying hello to both of us, think again. They are using the words, "Hi Vanessa." And yes, they know Ben's name.

It is easy to depersonalize a situation when someone is in a device that is passive, like a stroller or wheelchair. I do believe that if Ben was in his walker, he'd be acknowledged.

I have not figured out a diplomatic way to handle this yet, but I will. If you have a suggestion, feel free to send it my way.


  1. we deal with this same issue and I have yet to come up with a good way to remedy it.

  2. So your pushing Bens rocket sled down the street and "Aice" walks by and says "Hi Vanessa!" Without missing a beat (And before you say anything else) you say "Say Hi to Alice Ben!"
    Now maybe Ben won't do that ... but if you do it religiously, EVENTUALLY Alice is going to say "Hi Vannessa, Hi Ben".
    Betcha! XXX

  3. Roger - I have been toying with that very idea and since you suggested it, I will try it. Thanks for giving me the extra push I needed!

  4. Just got another good idea on how to respond, "Ben, look who it is, Jane X." I may try that one too. I think a more passive approach is better so that people get the hint without feeling attacked. Thank you for the ideas.

  5. I was going to suggest the same idea Roger had. Maybe it is a winner!

    I have to be intentional when I greet Ben or others in "devices" and it's hard. I wonder why our brains shut out some people when our heart NEVER would...nor does it want to!


Post a Comment

Thank you for reading my post. I appreciate you taking the time to comment. If you wish to contact me directly, please let me know and I will email you.

Popular posts from this blog

Impromptu Pet Therapy

  Ben met Doodle today. One of the staff at his day program brought him in. Ben loves dogs and these photos made my day. 

Parenting an Adult Child with Disabilities

  "Parenting an Adult Child with Disabilities" is a series on eSpeciallyBen. As Ben approached 18, it was clear our role changed as parents. We needed to help Ben transition into adulthood. These stories are meant to assist other families who face, or will face, some of the same challenges. Talking About the Future Guest Post - Matt Wilson Legal Guardianship, Medicaid and SSI Researching Group Homes Questions to Ask at a Group Home Visit Referral Packet for Group Homes Getting Assistance from a Care Manager From Group Home Placement to Discharge Reaching for Independence

ABC's of ABA

A few weeks ago I attended a workshop presented by a behavior therapist. As it turned out, I went to a conference on the same topic over a year ago. I will describe what I have taken away from these methods in my own words - but please take a look at the links I have provided below. After I learned about this, life with children made a lot more sense to me. Not that this is earth shattering material, but it helped me to better understand the hows, whats and whys of behavior in children, and occasionally husbands. I am in no way an expert in this - just a parent who wants to share a behavior strategy that has worked in our home. I hope to inspire others to explore it further.  Any errors in information comes from me and cannot be blamed on the presenters. Also, you may have seen ABA - Applied Behavior Analysis - connected most often with Autism - please do not let this deter you if your child is not autistic. I use these methods with all my children, none of which are labeled au