Personal responsibility is something most of us take pretty seriously—in our individual lives, within our families, on the job, and in other areas of life. As parents, we take responsibility for our children and, in turn, attempt to instill a sense of responsibility in them, expecting them to assume more and more responsibility as they grow. But for people with disabilities, personal responsibility is skewed, aberrant, or nonexistent. Instead, the Nanny State—allowing professionals, experts, and others to take charge—seems to be the norm!
Why have we allowed people with disabilities to become exempt from personal responsibility and the many wonderful opportunities that are part and parcel of autonomy and self-direction? Why have parents invited a “third parent” into their families?
Like a giant with open arms, the Nanny State catches and holds children and adults with disabilities, making them helpless and dependent on others. Some parents and people with disabilities are unaware they’re entering the Nanny’s firm grip. Others go willingly, erroneously believing it’s the only choice.
In the Nanny State, children and adults with disabilities are not expected to be responsible. And we should not be surprised that—like others—they may live up (or down) to our expectations. Many are taught to be helpless, irresponsible, and dependent. Simultaneously, the service system’s help carries the unspoken message that people with disabilities and their families are incompetent. While the expertise and/or assistance from providers, therapists, and others may be necessary and helpful at times, if their efforts also promote helplessness and dependence, they’re doing more harm than good.
Parents of babies with disabilities may “share parenting” with therapists, early interventionists, and others. Their homes may devolve from private sanctuaries to “in-home therapy clinics.” Professionals are in-and-out regularly, and . . . Click here to continue.
Good government is no substitute for self-government. Mahatma Gandhi
Personal Responsibility vs. the Nanny State
New Ways of Thinking and Revolutionary Common Sense