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Assume This!

Perhaps you have seen these articles, or noticed the sudden interest in the "special needs world," that has been stirring the past few weeks. More often I have noticed headlines or photos catching my eye that strike my core. Things ranging from Target's or JCPenny's use of Down Syndrome children in their adds, or like the article I saw today, about a couple with CP who are being threatened with the removal of their own baby, because of the assumptions based on their diagnosis. Suddenly there is a flurry of material presenting the world of special needs and the drain they pose for our society. Horrors, they exclaim, think of all those handicapped children growing up! They are kinda small and easy to ignore as babies and children, but as adults?! What shall we do with them? We certainly can't let them out and about, and to keep them home requires all kinds of special funds! Who is going to pay for it? And then the articles go on to show pictures of run down and broke parents, often divorcees saddled with an autistic child, because the article gleefully shares, the divorce rate for special needs parents is 80%! Gasp! As if parents of perfectly typical kids aren't getting divorced left and right...
Sure, parents with special children are more stressed, and more broke then others, but they are also strong, and loving.

We don't need pity, what we need, is understanding without assumptions.

It is all about perspective. Yes, maybe our children require more work, but tell that to the mother of a 16 year old girl who is gripped in the full force of transitional hormones and all that comes with it... After that mom is done weeping, we will probably find lots in common. I think what really bothers me about these kind of articles is that at first glance, they seem to be trying to raise awareness or show sincerity, but after letting them sit a little, I find myself feeling infuriated by the condescension of the words. The assumption that life with a special needs child is lonely and financially impossible; packing the paragraphs with every single gloomy statistic. Those poor parents, turning themselves inside out for little or no return etc, etc...

Not in one of the articles was there any shred of respect for the children themselves. Nothing as to why we should help them, not the parents, but the children themselves who are WORTH EVERY PENNY spent on them.

This is doubly true in regards to that poor couple who are fighting the courts to keep their baby. So terrible! Nothing is wrong with their cognitive abilities! Their hearts are just as capable as love as any other parent. Should we apply this new rule to our wounded army vets? Sorry pal, you got hurt and now you're in a wheelchair so we will have to take your baby away. Thanks for serving your country... I don't see any difference here.

Folks who assume what it is like to be a special needs parent, are coming at it from the wrong perspective. Instead of seeing the positives, the wonderful aspects of each child and situation, they look at bank accounts statements, college expectations, and divorce rates, at least according to the news...

The only thing that is scary about having a special needs child is the amount of love your heart produces for them. It is too much for some. All the other stuff is just details. Until told otherwise, do not assume anything else!

Speaking of love...
Our little love-bug/lion with teeth (what's with the love bites buddy? yoouch) saw his eye doc and was given the go ahead for corrective eye ailment surgery.
The date for that is July 12th.
As surgeries go, this isn't a real big deal, but it is still surgery and the procedure itself will be a couple hours, or longer depending on how much tweaking she will have to do with his eyes in recovery.
The plan is to put in adjustable stitches in his eye muscles that can be tightened or loosened depending on how his eyes will move when they wake him up a bit. If they need to be adjusted they will put him back under to finish the procedure.
Our hope is that it all goes smoothly and that it will work to make little man's eyes work as a team again. Fingers crossed...


  1. Nicely stated. Best of luck with the eye surgery!


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