…that the mother who is giving her baby a bottle of formula is too lazy to breastfeed or doesn’t care about giving her baby the best. Her baby may have been unable to breastfeed and she might be devastated by it.
…that the mother who is rocking her baby for hours each night to put them to sleep is “spoiling” her child. Her child might not be able to go to sleep without that rhythmic movement of his mother.
…that the child who refuses to eat the carrots at snack is just picky. Don’t assume that his mother gives him whatever he wants. That child may literally starve himself when presented unfamiliar foods. He might be unable to chew the carrots. It may be too overwhelming for him to even touch them.
…that the mother parking in the handicapped spot – with a child who can walk – is just taking advantage of the system. You might not know that her child bolted away from her, or has a history of wandering. You might not know that her child has hypotonia and fatigues easily. …continue reading
It was coffee with a friend that brought this to the forefront of my mind. She mentioned that she didn’t feel that her family’s experience with special needs was the same as others. She feared that since her family was not dealing with a “serious” diagnosis that she – in some way – didn’t belong to this club of special needs parents. I scrambled to reassure her, to let her know that there was indeed a place for her here.
I hurt for her in that moment, but I could see how easy it would be for someone to feel this way. In the special needs community, there seems to be a need to out do one another. You see it in many forms. Some families with special needs look at the families with more severe challenges – such as aggression – and vehemently argue that such a situation doesn’t represent the majority. You then see some families whose children do have more challenges claim that their family’s situation is harder than another.
What does that do? It divides us. It separates us. It places us into warring factions when what we need most is to unite for the good of our children – for the good of us all. …continue reading