I saw this link flying by my FB newsfeed a coupla days ago Five Things A Special Needs Mom Won't Tell You and thought Oh no! Not another thousand page handbook on how to 'handle' the parent of a child with different abilities...you know, like don't blink when engaging in conversation because it could be misconstrued as blinding pity for the mother and/or child...don't lick your lips when talking as it's a derogatory action implying you think children with different abilities are lesser human beings...and all those other not-so-helpful articles which prevent, through creating a distorted idea that engaging in any interaction with the parent/s of a kiddo with DA's is bound to be super high maintenance, the one common desire we all ache for...to just be treated like N.O.R.M.A.L.
Bleh. Normal. But there I said it.
I'm still sort of contemplating the term 'special needs mom'. A couple of years ago I never would've considered myself one of the more politically correct types on this journey...hearing people use the r-word sure irked me, but not enough that I would grab the nearest piece of cardboard and go start a protest. Now? I really could kinda see myself doing just that. In all fairness, I have used the term special needs mom/parent myself but mostly because it's probably the most 'recognised' term socially. I've experienced a few 'huh?' moments when referring to Sam as differently-abled as opposed to disabled. You can't land smack bang in the middle of England and instantly expect everyone there to communicate fluently in Afrikaans without having had any prior exposure to it, right? But a little enlightenment here and there will soon bring us all onto the same page.
So...special needs mom, hey?...certainly there are a few needs I have which might not fit 100% into the usual 'needs' box...being able to take my morning shower in a closed shower (especially now in winter...bbbrrrrrr) without rushing to beat my allocated three repeats of the balloon song (all the while keeping an eye on Sam) before he gets agitated...the need to not have to carry empty margarine/yoghurt tubs around with me...the need to successfully find accessories and equipment which can still accommodate a five year old who has not yet mastered certain skills generally acquired much younger (like potty training)...but I am not sure these needs could be considered special.
Could it be that the 'special needs' refers to the child? Hmmmm. An interesting concept and really quite possible. But still, does Sam have special needs? Or does he have the same needs as Meghan but just requires more thereof...more patience...more guidance...more care with his health...more creativity with his learning. Special implies extraordinary...being bathed in honey...carried around in style like an Egyption emperor...fed chocolate truffles at hourly intervals...all of which I can see Sam tolerating quite well. But if not special then what - Five Things More Needs Moms Won't Tell You? Doesn't quite have the same effect, does it?
I suspect a little further contemplation is required.
And what, you might ask, does any of this random gabbering have to do with the article. Absolutely nothing. It's not a bad article, go ahead and give it a read. The End xxx