Post # 1
My four year old daughter is an amputee. She was casted yesterday for a new “leggie” (prosthesis). She fell in love with the idea of having a frog covered leggie when she saw the material in the prosthetist’s office. She is excited about getting her new frog patterned prosthesis, but I also know that she hates strangers staring at her because she is different. She has seemingly understood, from at very young age, that if people are obsessing over “leggie” than they are not seeing her for who SHE is. The patterned leggie will only make the thing she hates happen more. There will be joy and tears for all of us. I don’t know how to help her understand at four that having the frogs means that people are going to look at her a lot more. We agreed to let her have the frogs, because we are not the type of parents that are trying to control how she chooses to present herself to the world. I am more concened about how she feels when her very noticable leggie starts getting lots of attention. Here is a picture of the material with which the new leggie will be made of.
Post # 3
What part of the leggie will be covered in the material? I think it’s fine…she will always have to deal with people looking at her, and seeing her leggie rather than her (especially at first) but she should be able to choose the way she looks!
Did you watch Oliver Pistorius in the Olympics?????
Post # 4
I don’t have any words of advise, but I just wanted to tell you that you have a beautiful family!!!!
Post # 5
As someone who has a visible disability i can tell you people will stare no matter what. The most important thing to impress upon her is that she can do/be ANYTHING she wants to be no matter what anyone tells her. There was just a double amputee who ran in the olympics!
Post # 6
I think it’s wonderful that you are letting her make this decision. I think you just have to support her (like you’re already doing!!) when the inevitable happens. Your family is beautiful.
Post # 7
Is there anyway that she could wear a patterned sock for a couple of days to get how it would feel to have people looking at it more? And then hold off on actually placing the order for leggie until she is sure she is comfortable.
I hope in the end she loves whatever leggie she chooses and feels confident in it:)
Post # 8
People stare no matter what. I’m sorry that you guys have to face this challenge, and I know I can’t totally understand it, but is there a way you can turn it around? Maybe compare it to jewelry or braces colors where when people are looking at the froggies, you can make it something she can show off?
I hope that doesn’t come across as insensitive, I know it’s not actually like having jewelry, that’s just how I delt with people staring at my PICC line and the armband that covered it when I was a kid and it kind of helped to think of it as an accessory that expressed something about me (that my favorite color was purple and that I liked cats). I know it’s different, but maybe the same sort of thing will help? It sounds like she has a great attitude about all of this, and that’s so fantastic.
Post # 9
Maybe suggest that she chose a non-patterned one that she could cover with long patterned socks. That way, she could have a number of patterns to choose from, instead of just frogs, and she would have the option to keep it neutral if she finds it draws too much attention. Plus, with socks, both legs would match and it wouldn’t stick out so much, but would still have the personality/fun aspect that she, as a 4yr old, wants.
Post # 10
@HappierKate: Yes, that is what mothers of fellow amputees always say. People are going to stare so why not let her dictate what they are staring at.
It is just a challenge because having an amputee for a child is not just a grieving process in the beginning. Everytime they (and by extention you) face a new challenge, you grieve again for the loss of a simple and uncomplicated life where you don’t have to think about these things.
Post # 11
@peachacid: Yes, Oscar is a big fan favorite in our house. He was actually born with the same condition as my daughter, except he was affected on both legs.
Post # 12
@MrsFuzzyFace: Since she’s four, I’m assuming she’ll have to be refitted in a couple years anyway, as she grows? I think you’re doing the right thing by being supportive of her choice. If she becomes uncomfortable with the froggy pattern, she can always wear long pants in public to cover up, and she might choose something else in a few years when she gets refitted again. On the other hand, letting her have some control over what her leggie looks like now might make her feel more comfortable/confident about her disability. It’s a hard issue, but I think being supportive and letting her make the decision in this instance is the right choice.
Post # 13
I think its great that shes getting excited about it and celebrating it instead of trying to hide it. People will stare no matter what, but if they see that she is secure about it, and it’s not a big deal, they will accept it more.
“ I don’t know how to help her understand at four that having the frogs means that people are going to look at her a lot more. We agreed to let her have the frogs, because we are not the type of parents that are trying to control how she chooses to present herself to the world. I am more concened about how she feels when her very noticable leggie starts getting lots of attention. “
Do you think that this makes you uncomfortable at all? I remember my mother trying to “fix” things she perceived as being wrong with me, which I think were her own insecurities about me, and have become things that I am very self conscious about now because of her focus on them. Often kids don’t perceive differences the same was as adults do; when they hear somebody has two dads, or see somebody from a different culture, many don’t judge until an adult points out that this is not “normal”. Other kids might stare but that is because they are curious, not because they are judging. If adults stare, that is their own problem. I would explain that to her… there is nothing wrong with her, there will always be people out there no matter what who are just rude, and that is their problem and she should be proud of who she is.
I think it’s great that you are letting her decide this. I think the pattern is adorable btw, and your kids are beautiful 🙂
Post # 14
I am not a parent, so I dont have much advice. I just wanted to add that your family is beautiful!
Post # 15
Why not celebrate the fact that she is different and unique? A child at my old school used to plaster her prosthetic arm in stickers and even painted it for Halloween. The kids at school (she was in 2nd grade) thought she was AWESOME for it. And her parents taught her that people will stare. But they told her (and her teachers) that people staring helped them understand how incredibly special she was. By not shying away and being open about her arm, she could teach others. And that little girl owned it.
Staring is not necessarily bad. Staring means that people are processing instead of trying to sneak glances and make assumptions. She will always stand out in a crowd, but it doesn’t have to be a curse.
Post # 16
@RoyalLime: I was just about to type the very same thing you did. Those little girls are gorgeous.