This post has been brewing for a while. I had to write a little something about this card, or cartoon, or blasphemy, whatever you want to call it. Let me just tell you, this picture PISSES ME OFF!
Aaahhhh! (Imagine me yelling at my computer screen) <---This is my frustration with this gem every time I see it float past my news feed on Facebook. And I have seen several versions of this one. I can't take it anymore! I can't keep my mouth closed any longer or I will start banging my head against the computer screen, rendering myself completely incapable of complaining about random things that are annoying me.
Your ONLY special need is to be loved?
No it’s not!
I’ll tell you why it makes me so mad.
It completely and totally minimizes all that MY special needs child has to go through to live in this world. My blind daughter who has to navigate around in the dark in a sighted world. My non-verbal child who has to try to be understood silently in a world full of language, subtle communication, and written words. My daughter has to survive and thrive in a world that doesn’t always understand or like people who are different. People who don’t have time for, or an understanding of, or compassion, or empathy, or a sense of humor, or many more things that are needed to understand, love, and appreciate a person with autism and other SPECIAL NEEDS.
It completely and totally minimizes all that WE have to go through as special needs parents. Her only special need is NOT just to be loved. It’s a whole lot more. All children need love. That one’s easy as a parent. I always love my kids.
She has specific special needs.
That’s why we call them special needs kids. Otherwise we would call them regular needs kids right? Or normal? No. Not normal. That’s a setting on the dryer. Vanilla? Plain? Average? Non special needs? Neuro typical? What? Kids. I have my kids. 3 of them. Or 3 children and one of them has special needs.
She has many more special needs other than just to be loved.
She has seizures, she takes a bunch of medicine, she doesn’t walk very well, she needs a walker at school, a walking wand, my hand. She’s not potty trained yet, she doesn’t talk, she can’t see, she has epic meltdowns, she doesn't sleep well, she has stomach issues, she has to eat special food, she needs special therapies, special equipment, special people in her life who appreciate all that she CAN do and all that she is CAPABLE of doing in the future. She has enough doctors, teachers, specialists, therapists…ect., to populate a small country. Sometimes I feel like I am running my own country. I am a dictator here in Oliland.
This minimizes all of the people in her life who work so hard for her. If we just said “Oh. Her only special need is to be loved? Great. Job accomplished. Pass me an award. We did that in our first 5 minutes with her.”
It’s so much more than that!
It’s okay to acknowledge that our kids are different. That they need different ways to help them learn and live and love and grow to be amazing people.
And it REALLY pisses me off that they use the word only in front of the word special needs. Don’t even get me started on that one.
You are NEVER allowed to use the word only and special need in the same sentence.