Special needs kids?
Yuck. I don't
particularly like the term 'special needs' when it's used to define
We all have needs, don't we, many the same and some unique to each of
The way I see it is that when someone is labeled as 'being' a special
kid, an odd thing happens. When the focus leaves the
sense of humor, her great singing voice, his creativity...and moves to
whatever challenge demands 'special' attention, the child feels
the difference, and doesn't like it one bit. <>
Think of it this way. Imagine
that we are
in a 3-D movie, and people love coming to watch us in all of our
Then imagine that the super-duper projector breaks down, and now they
only see us in one dimension. How boring, and how easy it becomes to
that that one dimension defines us. Of course it doesn't, we are
much more complex
and interesting than that. But that's all that people seem to notice.
something else I learned about kids who have 'special needs', like the
need to use a nebulizer, or a wheelchair, or a seeing-eye dog. They
me that they want to be liked for who they are, not for what their need
is. And they want you to ask whatever questions you'd like to, about
asthma, or muscle condition, or blindness. They figure that if you knew
about those things, then you wouldn't have to spend so much time
wondering about them, and you
on with enjoying Katie, or Dominic, or Shaneele, or whomever.
So I see 'special needs' as
about each of us that reach out for a little bit of help from others,
as a category of personhood. What do you think?