invisible child


by Matushka Wendy Cwiklinski ( She wrotes as a mother of a number of children with invisible disabilities.)


The name “invisible child” is both a descriptor of and a dedication to our children, who are invisible in the sense that their disabilities, though often severe, are hidden from view. Brain disorders, though biologically based, often are not obvious physically, so the invisible child looks like any other child. In addition, children with these disorders usually have normal intelligence. In fact, many are gifted, sometimes to a high degree, and because of this they are able to develop coping skills that further hide their differences, the result being that they may either not be identified or their struggles will be misunderstood. Because it typically takes such a long time for children to be diagnosed and receive appropriate treatment, they are particularly susceptible to falling through the cracks, dropping out of school, becoming suicidal, or entering the juvenile justice system. …

To access the entire article:

When persons with blindness, or in wheelchairs, or with Downs Syndrome features come to our Church, its easy to identify them as people to help. But its a little harder to see them as people who can help. And its much harder to see, as Matushka Wendy writes, children with invisible disabilities, who look like everybody else, as image-bearers of Christ who just need  extra patience. The article and the website are a good place to start educating one’s self toward this goal.


Words unheard
All blurred
I don’t get it
What did you say?

Loneliness is the worst
Being outside
Apart from the others
What do they say?

I feel invisible
Want to fade
Don’t want to feel rejected
Do they hear me?

I want to be a part
Heard and seen
Break the wall
I’m here!

Learn to climb
Get overview and perspective
Use equipment and learn to secure
Dare the unknown

Feel alive
Defeat the obstacle
Be self responsible
And be in control.

I want.

“Usynlig – synlig” by Inger Anita Herheim, freely translated from Norwegian by Ulf Nagel

Picture and Poem from Becoming Deaf in Norway 2007: Invisible-Visible

See also Huffington Post: But You Don’t Look Disabled 


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