Let’s Talk, Teach & Listen
Would you agree that people who have special needs and those who do not, live in the same world?
Obviously, of course. And, the two population groups seem to live as though one has nothing to do with the other.
As a therapist, and as a citizen, I imagine there are great benefits for people who have special needs, feeling familiar and understood by people who do not have special needs.
Similarly, I imagine there would be advantages for those who have no special needs yet live in the same community, shop in the same grocery stores, attend the same schools, community groups, and are affected by many of the same social and political trends as special needs people, being recognized for their similarities to special needs people.
We all have some human commonality.
Recognizing this and learning about our differences, ideally grows understanding, care and trust. All of these are foundational to a happier existence.
What if I learned more about autism from parents who have kids with autism?
What if you, the parent of a child who has autism, were able to rely on most people having the knowledge of how to help you if your kid has a meltdown?
What if I learned more about communication styles of kids who have autism?
Would you, the parent of a child who has autism, and the child her/himself, feel more relaxed about going places in the community?
What if I felt competent to meaningfully interact with a person who has autism?
Would we all feel less defensive and isolated, more loving and secure, if in addition to addressing and caring for the specific requirements of special needs people, we also worked toward a sense of acceptance and integration of all people?
Would you ask your neighbor, colleague, or anyone else who has a family member with special needs, to educate you on what may improve your interaction with that family member?
And, if you’re the parent of a special needs person, would you invite someone who has no firsthand, ongoing interaction with a special needs person, to listen to what you feel are significant highlights? In this way, we take a step to embracing all who live in our world.