Petra Ulbrich wants all people to be kind to each other. But if this does not work on a large scale, then she wishes that it’s at least possible in her small family surrounding – for example in dealing with her children. What she has learned because of them and what kind of shared situations make her laugh, she tells us on REHACARE.com.
Name: Petra Ulbrich Age: 60 City: Flein, near Heilbronn, Germany Occupation: Housewife, mother, poet, graphic designer, care worker, friend of my children and of other people Impairment: My two children use a wheelchair, are of little stature, have brittle bone disease and - as people call it - are cognitively limited. I am an asperger autist and I often rub people the wrong way because of my merciless direct way to communicate.
Petra Ulbrich: Yesterday when playing parcheesi with my children. Sometimes we laugh until we cry. But it is hard to describe the comicalness of the situation in words. One has to be with us to understand the fun we have together when we play.
What have you always been wanting to do and why have you never done this so far?
Petra Ulbrich: Dancing tango! But I do not have a good physical feeling. And people say I would not be very empathic - but I want to forswear this.
Which person has influenced you most?
Petra Ulbrich: Not one person, but two! My children because they showed me that you can live a satisfied life with a disability.
You have the chance to become the German Federal Commissioner for the Disabled. What would you do first?
Petra Ulbrich: That's a difficult question. What can I actually do as the German Federal Commissioner for the Disabled? Not much! I can call on taking the needs of people with disabilities serious and to not say they are impossible to impletent - without having tried.
Your life is made into a film: Who would represent you? Petra Ulbrich: I cannot think of a special person. I would actually prefer to do it on my own, because I have experienced all this. So it would be more authentic, I think.
I would like to be ...
Petra Ulbrich: old and satisfied - in later years.
Which questions would you like answered the most?
Petra Ulbrich: Why do people not directly talk to people in a wheelchair - explicitely my children?
What I finally want to say...
Petra Ulbrich: See other people - no matter how different they may be - as people and not as things! Talk to them. Let's talk with each other. May it be with hands and feed, with our eyes or with our mouth. Only when we interact and communicate with each other, we can learn to understand each other and to realize that not everybody has to be like we are.