When we hear the words “special needs children,” we often think in clinical terms of those children who require assistance for medical or psychological disabilities or those who have learning, emotional or behavioral difficulties.
But really, don’t we all have some type of special need? Don’t we all have some type of weakness that requires help, support and encouragement from others? Normal is what we want, what we expect, what we understand and unfortunately what we think we need from our children, but really there is no such thing as normal. We were not created to be normal. We were created imperfect in order to use those imperfections to enlighten and help others.
As parents, it is important to open up the dialogue about special needs to provide an understanding to the next generation that everyone is unique and created differently for a reason. Everyone is an original. No two people have the same fingerprint. No two people have the same DNA and each of us are fearfully and wonderfully made. We are all masterpieces.
Often times, children may feel judged or may begin to place their self worth in the hands of standardized test scores, a diagnosis, the number of likes on social media or a skewed image in a magazine. Sometimes, they may not feel like a masterpiece at all.
But, it is important to teach our children that our unique physical appearance and ability, voice, personality, habits, ideas, and combination of life experience-all work together to make us one of a kind and special. We were not created to be normal, no one is normal and how boring would that be anyway?
So do you see? We are all special needs, whether we realize it or not and ultimately the only normal thing in the world is to be yourself, accept everyone where they are and help one another along.
This article appears in the October 2018 issue of Augusta Family Magazine.
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