Special Needs

Monday, October 1, 2012


OK. Here are my two cents on the subject. For what it's worth.

The term special needs bothers me. Real bad.

There I said it.

It's been thrown around here and there regarding Alli and I hear it OH.SO.OFTEN in this preemie community I now call home. Just last week, I received two catalogs with "for Special Needs Kids" plastered across the top and it hit me.

Let's stop labeling our children. Let's stop labeling other people's children.

Try this instead....

A person

A miracle

A child of God

Those are the only labels that need to be thrown around.

Our children aren't special needs. They may have special needs, but that certainly does not define  who they are as people or who they will become.  Heck, if we all do some serious soul searching, we would find we all have special needs in one sense or another.

Why is it that society has conditioned us to think just because something is not normal or not developing typically that it's bad?

To be honest, it has taken me a long time to get there. I once dwelled in the same line of thinking, believing that imperfection was bad, despite the Bible saying we are made perfect in his image (Genesis 1:27).

But if I truly yielded to that imperfect line of thinking, what would I miss in this life? What have I already missed in this life? What would my family miss? What would my girls miss? It petrifies me to think that we are raising little people who are missing the true beauty in people all because we have missed the true beauty and joy in people.

I've been given an extraordinarily beautiful gift and so have you. We've been able to experience life through different glasses. We come from all areas and deal with many different situations and challenges with our children. Many of our circumstances are less than ideal. I for one wouldn't want to walk our path over again. But when night comes and I recap our day, I'm able to see more clearly those moments with my girls, the beauty they behold, and the lessons that each have taught me....some I'm not even seeing until now and most I would have missed otherwise.  The beauty in the perfectly imperfect.   

I have talked to so many mothers lately who say, “I’m so sick of the pitiful stares people give us.”  My friend, let me promise you, through the world’s pity stares, we have the chance to educate and show them what life is truly about.

And it's certainly not about what society says is beautiful and perfect.

And it doesn't start with a label.

2 comments

  1. I hear ya! I used to hate the term and refuse to use it. I think it's a process that all of us go through. Ultimately, for me, I had to come to a place of acceptance of the term. It doesn't bother me as much now. No matter how much I wanted to will away that my son had developmental issues, he just does and I have to be OK with that. True, a label does not define him, but sometimes those identifying terms are helpful when time for explanations are short. At least that is how it's been in our situation. Long story short, I wish there wasn't so much stigma behind the term.

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    1. I think I'm working towards that acceptance, but I'm in the bitter stage since the term alludes so much stigma. I'd be fine with "my child has special needs," it's when I hear "my child IS special needs" that I cringe. I'm a work in progress.

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