Clouds, May 2010

Clouds, May 2010

Monday, March 19, 2018

share the love

I do not know where this special needs quote came from or when it started circulating around our digital universe, but you probably recognize it: (tap to view) 

It always begins with stating that kids (or children) with special needs are not weird or odd. That they only want what everyone else wants: to be accepted! In most variations, the quote includes a request: "Is anyone willing to post or share this in honor of all children who were made in a unique way?" Most illustrations say, "Let's see who has a strong heart!"

I have seen many variations for many years & I think that's because people think it's sweet. Or they simply see someone else share, & maybe they know someone with a child with special needs (or maybe not)... but either way they don't want to be the one who doesn't share the love... right?

The problem is this is no different than me posting a picture of my handsome son & captioning it, "He is not weird or odd! Please share!" Do you see how that would be counterproductive if I was trying to raise awareness of fragile x?

World Down Syndrome Day is coming up on March 21st-- the date is purposely the 21st day of the 3rd month to symbolize the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome, because that is what causes Down syndrome. On the heels of this, is World Autism Awareness Day on April 2nd. As a matter of fact National Autism Awareness Month is throughout April. So, call me psychic, but I bet this pity party of a quote is going to be circulating a fair amount again.

People with special needs are people first. If you want to feel sorry for someone, feel sorry for the people who are too close-minded to recognize differences as opportunities. Or feel sorry for people who use the word retarded as if it's a regular adjective. Smart people with kind hearts do not make a conscious decision to accept anyone different from them into their life because they don't have to, it is just a given. So if you are willing to copy & paste this then I hope you realize how absurd it is to use the word "willing". If you feel like copying & pasting this just because you like it then that's totally cool with me & thank you for that. This is an example of sharing the love & not the stigma.

You can add a heart, or a cute character, or whatever. But for the love of anyone who really is different than you, do not feel sorry for them. The challenges that people live with every day due to having a disorder or disability are usually secondary. The primary "problem" most of the time is the way other people react to them.

We should all be so lucky to have such pure minds & kind hearts as individuals with special needs do.  If you want to quote something then quote that.  What I have learned being Hayden's mom is that his ability to love unconditionally is effortless. It's an earned privilege to be a part of his world but if you're in it, you are nothing short of blessed.