ADVANCE for Audiologists magazine. ADVANCE Newsmagazines. Simple Advice. Sept/Oct 2005. Read full article.
 
 The following tips for interacting with people with invisible disabilities are excerpts from a booklet by Wayne R. Connell, founder and president of the Invisible Disabilities Association. The booklet, called, But You LOOK Good is a guide to understanding and encouraging people living with chronic illness and pain.
 

What Not to Say/What Discourages People

What to Say/What Encourages People

 

Do not minimize their situations.

Acknowledge their situations.

Do not disbelieve their illness is real, because you cannot see their illness.

Acknowledge their losses.

Donot disregard their new limitations.

Show them you are listening.

Do not treat them like they have chosen to have the disease.

Show them you are aware of their circumstances.

Do not expect them to always be happy — they are ill.

Show them you are willing to help.

Do not assume or put words into their mouths.

Let them know you enjoy their company.

Do not treat them as if they are not grateful for what they still have.

Show them your admiration.

Do not act like you can relate to them.

Let them know you appreciate their health.

Do not act like fixing the problem is simple.

Give them a compliment.