Monday, November 14, 2011
My Definition of a " Special Needs" Child
I looked up in the dictionary recently what the word "special" means. The first definition I saw was, "out of the ordinary." I was thinking, well, that certainly describes my son. He is anything but ordinary! Ordinary means something that is the same. Wouldn't the world be a boring place if everyone was the same?? I had to hear that our son was "below average" several times at his recent IEP (Individualized Education Program) meeting in October. The IEP is an annual meeting with usually the child's teacher, social worker, psychologist, speech therapist and the parents to discuss the special education services your child gets through the school system. We were getting results of the many tests that were administered to get his current "performance" level. I had to hear that our little guy was extremely "below average", well "below average" and that his language impairment was "profound." I am realistic about his abilities and came to terms with him having Autism, ADHD and speech delays a long time ago. Even so, to hear those words (and I'm all about the words) it was tough. We have worked so hard to get him to the point he is now. I would love to develop an additional "test" that parents would get the results of at their child's IEP. This test would list at least ten things that your child is "above average" on. A few examples would be giving hugs, reciting the ABC's or can wave bye. For some parents that would be a 11 out of 10! My own definition of a special needs child is that they are unique, "above average" and amazing!