This post was written as a contribution to the Living Life Special Blog Carnival. The participating bloggers are sharing their experiences in parenting or teaching children with special needs. Also included are posts on how to educate others about special needs.
I’ve worked with a lot of families over the years. Many of them still keep in touch, but one family and I will always remain close. I remember at first I was astounded by Lacy for her tenacity to do what she could for her child with autism to improve his outcome everyday, while still maintaining a balance of normalcy. I couldn’t believe her willingness to reach out to other families and walk with them on their journey and share her wins and misses. Most of all, I was impressed by her ability to move through her own emotions of having a child with special needs, in order to be healthy, ready, and present for her children.
Last week Lacy shared with me a story of a recent experience. She said she wished everyone could just know that one story so that they could help children with autism and any other special need to feel included and accepted and also to make her job as a parent of a child with special needs just a little bit easier. I decided to share her story here.
At the doctor’s office Lacy’s son John Edward was laying on the floor of the waiting room with his legs up in the air. Another little boy noticed and went to his mother and asked what that other little boy was doing. Then, that little boy’s mom did something so simple, and so loving. She told him, “I don’t know. Why don’t you go ask him?” And so the little boy did. John Edward explained that he was laying down because it felt good. The boy said, “Oh,” and that was that. In her simple response that mom sent a clear message to her son.
So what was that message?
With her simple response she said…
You don’t need to be scared of someone who is different than you.
You can reach out and try to understand each person and who they are.
Everyone is worth being acknowledged and valued.
In my work with children with special needs, the one thing that has become ingrained in me is that no matter how challenged or different a child’s situation may be, each of us have a deep capacity for growth and expression of our spirit. Although children with special needs may need more learning opportunities or to learn in a different way, each of us are just on a path towards reaching our potential and we will have teachers, parents, and guardians that will foster us on our way. I hope to be a part of that process for as many children and families as I can.
Even if it’s not your calling to work with children with special needs, by showing your children an open mind, loving heart, and accepting spirit, both you and your family will be encouraging all children along their way as well.
Be sure to check out the other amazing bloggers who are contributing to the Living Life Special Blog Carnival.
Living Life Special: Teaching Children Compassion – Andie of Crayon Freckles recounts an encounter between her two children and a child with special needs. Various activities are provided to help children develop compassion for others.
All Things Eyeron - Sylvia from Homeschooling Through Trials, Triumphs, and Tragedies shares a brief account of some experiences in the life of a younger sibling born into the family of a child with special needs.
From Boredom to Hyper-Focusing - Leann from Montessori Tidbits shares how special
needs includes children who are gifted, as they have their own special set of
needs that must be addressed on a daily basis.
Beating the Loneliness of Special Needs - Kim from Tiaras & Bowties explores the loneliness that can accompany children, especially those with special needs as they journey into young adulthood. Don’t miss these quick tips to help your child beat those feelings of exclusion and rejection while boosting self-esteem
Is There a Child with Special Needs in the Classroom? – Former teacher and insightful author, Susan Case offers guidance on how to prepare students for a child with special needs in the classroom.
One Thing You Should Know – Kim from The Little Stories writes about a mother of a child with autism who shares the one thing that that all of us need to know – the one thing that will show her we understand her child is important and accepted.
I Call You - Sandy from We Can Do All Things, talks about how having a child with special needs pushes a parent into action. They quickly become not just a parent, but a therapist, medical researcher, teacher, advocate, and expert in their child’s diagnosis. They do things they never knew they could do, and be things they never knew they could do.
Fine Motor Leads to Fine Art – Debbie Clement is a children’s musician/song-writer, illustrator, author, and public speaker. The also spent 10 years as a Resource teacher for young children with special needs. Her article for the carnival examines Fine Motor Development and shares supportive observations for children with special needs on that
Three Great Musical Projects For Kids Of All Abilities - World music performer, DARIA shares 3 easy crafts including rain sticks, oceans drums and really quiet rattles for musical fun that also promotes creativity and positive self-expression. Inclusive musical fun perfect for the whole family or neighborhood!Email this article »