Saturday, October 12, 2013
You Don't Say...
Admittedly, I am not one of those people. I have always communicated more clearly in written form than verbal. (Example A: this blog.) I often struggle to say the right thing at the right time, to clearly articulate what I'm thinking, and more than a few times have made many a verbal faux pas.
I recently read a blog post on one of my favorite special needs blogs in which the author, a fellow special needs mom, speaks about how she is often frustrated by people who refer to her as a good parent simply because her child has special needs. I've also come across dozens of other articles and blog posts written by special needs parents - many of which are titled "Ten Things NOT To Say To A Special Needs Parent." (Google that phrase and you'll see what I mean.)
Every time I read one of these articles I can't help but have mixed feelings. Don't all of these articles, while well-meaning, just alienate those people who attempt to verbally come into contact with us? People with good intentions, who just may not have the right words? Are we (as a group) doing ourselves a disservice?
Say this to us, but don't say this to us. Doesn't it just makes people afraid to say anything at all?
Now, unfortunately, I know that there exist some genuinely mean-spirited people out there. Like the woman who told a fellow Aicardi mother that she should keep her loud, overexuberant child at home. Or the horrible people who were subsequently kicked out of a restaurant for telling a family whose child had Down syndrome, "Special needs kids should be kept in special places."
However, these are not the folks to which I am referring. I like to assume that those truly awful "humans" are few and far between, and the majority of people out there are genuinely kind and goodhearted - or at least try to be.
So, for everyone who may come across this blog post. Please don't worry about the words that come out of your mouth.
As long as you are well-intentioned, I'm very forgiving.