I don’t watch much TV that isn’t kids programming. So it’s unusual for me to want to write about a TV ad, but here goes.
Last night while watching I don’t know what, an ad from the insurance company MassMutual came on. Apparently it has been around a while, but this was the first time I saw it. The ad is promoting an insurance product designed for parents of special needs children.
It is not very often that I can relate on an emotional level to a television ad, but this one hit the mark. It was good to see a mainstream ad acknowledge the different and “special” needs of parents of disabled children.
But what pleased me more was the inclusion of pictures of life with a disabled child. It isn’t sugarcoated – there’s the slow awkward walking, the braces, the physical struggles to wash hair and brush teeth and the tiredness at the end of the day. For perhaps the first time, I saw my life reflected on the TV screen.
Usually disabled kids and their families are only on television talking about some hardship or, on the rare occasion, celebrating overcoming a hardship. This was neither of those things. The more often our kids and our families are seen as part of the rest of society, the less stigma, discrimination and isolation our children – and we – will face.
I applaud MassMutual even if they are just out to sell more insurance. Thanks for putting our lives in front of millions of TV viewers.