Thursday, January 19, 2012


One of the most derogatory prevailing attitudes that we encounter is one that depicts children with disabilities as drains on family resources and all that it implies.  In our family there is not one member that does not have special needs but we are all about degrees of disability.  Some of the children are profoundly affected cognitively and physically with some then adding medically fragile to their resumes.  Some can "pass in a crowd"with their needs presenting more in the academic arena.  They should be able to live relatively productive lives.

What burns my butt to no end is the perception that children with disabilities deplete their family of time, energy (emotional and physical) and finances leaving nothing for the healthy able bodied siblings. What this mindset promotes is the unworthiness of people with disabilities, that they are the takers of society with nothing to give or offer.

Each time I have gone to adopt I have had to battle this socially accepted attitude.  I have had to defend the children's worth as siblings.  I have had to educate the educated into considering that what the disabled sibling has to offer is maybe more powerful than any lesson given at school.

I am not negating the fact that some children with disabilities can be time intensive and depending on where you live in the world family monies might be required to help meet the extraordinary needs.  What I am saying is that what the special needs population takes they return tenfold.  All that is required is an open heart, internal ears and eyes to see the gifts and feel the joy.

As someone great said to me "it is a privilege" to be in their presence, to be a part of their lives.

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