I am extremely tired of parents of so called “normal” children who choose to remain ignorant about what it must be like to have a special needs child. They sit on their little thrones and pass judgment on these children who don’t fit the norm. A kid acts up in the hallway, they roll their eyes at the other parents in the hallway. They will even stand around and say things like “God, that kid is a nightmare.” When a parent was confronted by her child’s continually bullying of another child, her basic response was “But my kid thinks your kid is weird”. And…. that justifies what?
In a casual conversation about picky eaters from sensory issues, one parent pipes in with kids should eat what they’re given or go hungry. When I tune in with that it’s not always possible to be rigid like that because of sensory issues it waved off with a “bah, I don’t believe in that stuff.” You don’t believe in that stuff? It’s not like we’re talking about the tooth fairy or Santa Clause. Thousands of children are just making it up and their gullible parents are buying into it? I also see that your child is being given a weight belt and ear phones during class time to help keep him grounded. Oh right, you don’t believe in that stuff so the teacher shouldn’t be helping him. Wiggle seats – throw those out the window.
Another, seemingly nice parent expressed her surprise at the fact that my children refuse to eat oatmeal and said “Oh, well, uh… my children eat what I give them”. Well aren’t you the lucky one.
Another parent complained to me about all the children who had special needs in the classroom and how they were taking valuable time away from all the normal children. I bet if she knew that one of my kids was one of the ones with special needs she might not have said that to me. But then again, she probably would have.
My own brother-in-law baldly stated that my child’s misbehaviour was due to bad parenting. So, when his daughter decided to steal my daughter’s NDS and lied about it for months was that due to HIS bad parenting?
GUESS WHAT? Our children’s behaviour has nothing to do with parenting strategies, lack of discipline or just outright perverseness.
Do you know just how lucky you are?
- Your children listen to you when you ask them to do something. Okay, maybe not all the time but they’re pretty much compliant with most stuff.
- You can go on outings to a coffee shop without having to take your child outside because the smell of coffee makes them want to throw up.
- Food doesn’t have to be separated on their plates.
- Your child probably gets multiple invites to birthday parties each year.
- That everyone shows up at your child’s birthday parties.
- That your child will wear clothes without having the labels to be cut out.
- Your child can participate in after school activities like dance or hockey without causing them major anxiety.
- Your child can face an entire day at school without wondering who is going to hang around with them at lunch or recess.
- Your child can find their own books, pencils and paper on their own.
- Your child can sit still.
- Your child can learn to read without hours and hours of repetition and extra tutoring.
- A trip can be planned without having to write out a script or picture board so they’ll know what to expect.
- Your child will one day live independently.
No matter what a child’s special needs looks like whether it’s ADHD, ASD or anything else, harsher discipline, more rigid rules are never the answer. No, what these kids need is greater understanding from their parents, their families and the world around them.
So instead of being snarky or rolling your eyes, why not be sympathetic and understanding. While you may not know what it’s like to be in our shoes, surely you know what it’s like to show some compassion.