From day one, nothing went as planned or as expected, but he always takes everything in his stride. No matter what struggles or challenges he faces each and every day, his cheeky smile lights up a room, and his laugh can melt any heart.
I’ve learnt a lot from my extra special child. I learnt acceptance. I learnt there is always more to learn. I learnt to appreciate the small things more. I learnt to value every single achievement, no matter how trivial it may seem. I’ve learnt the best time to go food shopping is 5am (fully stacked shelves and no long lines at the till)
I’ve also learnt that as parents, we need to teach our neurotypical children, to be more accepting of those who are different. Our children look to us when experiencing something for the first time, and our reaction shapes how they respond in the future.
So instead of telling your child not to play with, or stay away from, the child who flaps and squeals. Explain their brain works differently, and they do things that other children dont, but thats ok.
I know its hard if a child is rough and hits or pushes in excitement. 9 times out of 10, the parent of that child will make them say sorry, give a hug, or otherwise aim to correct things, explain their child didnt mean to hurt your child, they just dont know the social norms yet. Give them a chance to learn, to go about it better and play with your child. Encourage your child to be kind, forgiving, accepting.
When at a birthday party, and you know one of the other guests has additional needs, dont sit back and watch your child enjoy stressing that child out by chasing them and getting in their face, we all heard the child and their mother ask your son to stop. Make him stop.
Feel free to ask special needs parents questions, we dont mind. Anything that help society understand our children, makes the world a better place for them.
So yeah, another lesson I’ve learnt, people are not always kind. Some parents of neurotypical children are brilliant, others seem intent on raising the next generation of ignorant, bullying arseholes.
So while you tell your kid to stay away from, or be mean to mine because they are different, I tell my children, people like you, are not worth knowing.