The other day I had the pleasure of meeting a little girl from my city with AMC, The night went great, I was feeling the happiness of this family, they were genuinely full of gratitude and wanting more for their child. This girl was one those kids that you can tell is going to take the world in front of her and rock it. One of the questions from the parents was, "When did you realize that you were different?". My answer was "I always knew". As far as I can remember I knew I was different, and I Think this happens to every child with a Diff-ability that is constantly taken out of their comfort zone (Out of the family) and shown that the world is a challenge and that you need to learn how to read it and live in it. This way, from a young age, I learned that I was different, but I also learned that with imagination I could achieve anything. I found my own ways by playing and exploring as any other kid. I learned how to be social and how affront the inevitable questions and comments like "Why do you walk funny?" "Why are you wearing those metal things in your legs?" "That's not how you eat". I was left out my comfort zone, out the circle where I didn't have to explain anything, and had to find the answers that made ME (not my parents or family) comfortable.
I know that sometimes as parents you want to protect your child from any pain, and sometimes you think that by keeping them in a "Safe" social circle or by not chatting about it in an open way you are protecting your child, and to that I say that your child already knows that he/she is different, show them how to embrace it! Let them know that is ok to be the way he/she is, we are all the same in one thing and that is that we ALL are different and that is great! Otherwise the world would be a very boring place.
Let your kids out & about as much as you can, this is where they are going to learn how to interact with others, build a strong character to front the world they are going to face for the rest of their lives with or without you.
Ps. You parents rock my world! I really admire your strength and all you do for us.