We all struggle with the dichotomy of wanting our children to be like everyone else and also unique in themselves. As parents this is definitely a struggle, especially when my child has special needs. It upsets me when others – be it schools or relatives or neighbours – ask me what is ‘wrong’ with my child or why he or she does not do what other children do or why he is behaving so differently!
Yes it is hard to deal with. It feels hurtful. It makes me want to hide what is different about my child. But for the sake of our children we have to become braver. We have to be able to educate people about what makes our children different. We have to teach them what we know. We have to do this for our children.
Every child, irrespective of the differences or disability he has, has the right to be respected. Every child has the right to access education and play and have friends and have fun in life.
This means that as a parent, at that moment of hurt, I have to take a deep breath and turn to the person and explain how uniquely beautiful my child is and how much they would enjoy getting to know him!
As a parent I have to advocate for my child.
As a parent I have to support my child.
As a parent I have to believe in my child and publically acknowledge the pride I have in him!
It is our duty and our responsibility and our right to make this world a better place for our children with different abilities!