One of my readers approached me and said “hey Sarah I loved your tips on how to move on when a long-lasting friendship falls apart” could you do something on qualities of good abled friends? That got me thinking what a great idea because although I have had a few friendships not work out I still have had plenty that has worked out! Currently, all my friends are disabled but that is not because I have something against abled friends but because I connect better with disabled people. If I were to make friends with an abled person here are a few qualities I would be looking for.

Willing to accommodate your plans– There has only been a handful of times I have hung out with my abled friends and actually had fun. In most cases, they choose a destination that is not accessible to me. If you are abled you probably are not thinking about accessibility in buildings but if you are friends with a disabled person it is very important because that person will not be having fun but instead they will be very stressed. Sometimes things happen and what you thought was going to be accessible isn’t so you may have to have a backup plan. If you want us both to have fun it is important that your destination is accessible!

Know the facts“Hydrocephalus is just a headache” Have you tried medication? Headache medication may help you get fewer headaches if you have Hydrocephalus but it is not the cure for it.  The most common treatment for Hydrocephalus is to insert a shunt not to prescribe headache medication. Hydrocephalus is not just a headache and when you say something like that you sound unintelligent. If you are unfamiliar with this condition that is okay but when I try to explain it to you listen to me and don’t blow me off and try to act like you’re an expert in the condition. I may not be an expert in Hydrocephalus but I may be able to help you understand the condition a little bit better.

Interested in learning about my disability-  I don’t expect much of my abled friends but knowing a little bit about my disability is something I find very important. My disability is a huge part of who I am so I spend a lot of time trying to educate my abled friends on Spina Bifida so they are more familiar with it and they can get to know me better. If you can’t even pronounce my disability correctly after six months of friendship that hurts because that tells me you weren’t listening and probably don’t care!

Good listener- An abled person may not be able to provide any input when a disabled person is upset but they can listen. Sometimes that is all a disabled person needs. They don’t need a lecture on why they shouldn’t be ranting they just need someone to listen. If your disabled friend needs someone to talk to but you are unable to help find them someone who can relate to their condition sometimes you are better off saying nothing and leaving it to somebody else!

I may not have any abled friends but if the right one came along I would totally be open to pursuing a friendship. I may only be able to count all my friends on one hand but they are all good solid relationships and I couldn’t ask for anything more. When it comes to friendships more is not always better it sometimes is the other way around. If you have any questions about the qualities of good abled friends please leave them in the comments below!