The Special Needs child
I hate this label.
Every child is special needs, some needs are just more obvious than others.
I have never pitied the mother of a chid with special needs. How can you pity someone who has such a fierce love and protection, an armour of strength, and a confidence beyond what I could hope to acheive?
No, pity is not the right emotion to have. Awe, respect, amazement, envy? Not envy of the struggles (although that's likely what provided that solid strength I see), rather envy of the inpenetrable exterior that faces so many negative and hurtful comments and assumptions every day.
I know the exterior doesn't truly reflect the pain that resides in the heart...but to go home each day and repair the damage so you can face another day--that is truly a heroic routine.
Each of these Moms spend time wondering if there's a way to make others understand that their child IS capable, they are NOT the sum total of their limitations. Maybe it's the tone of voice they used, is that why the teacher seems defensive about the advice given? If I just had one more chance to explain things (darn, why did the emotions show up that last time?), maybe you would 'get' it then?
Listing all the deficits, the 'problems'--just to prove you are aware of them--doesn't allow for the time to show all the amazing accomplishments that also need to be on that list.
I don't want you to know all the struggles, I want you to know all the successes...what makes our little warriors thrive. The moment you start believing I am looking for pity is the moment you gave up on my child.