Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What's Your Kid's Excuse?

A little bit of sarcasm goes a long way.

Sometimes, every once in a while, parents of special needs children may romanticize the behavior and achievements of so-called typical children.  I think it's called putting on rose-colored lenses.  They may even visit Fantasy World and imagine what their family life would be like if their special needs child were a typical child.  I have done and still do this occasionally, but while I do this I forget a couple of things:

  • Typical children don't always exhibit good behavior.  They can be argumentative and self-centered.  Sometimes they're just plain mean. Who knew?
  • Typical children don't always live up to their potential. Sometimes they're lazy and apathetic.  Gasp! Really?

Is this true for all typical children?  No.  No it's not.  There is a range - a spectrum if you will - of good and bad behavior.  And yes, special needs children can have behaviors that are annoying, embarrassing, or downright obnoxious; I can testify to this.  It's not all sunshine and lollipops.  Unfortunately, learning new (i.e. “proper”) behavior takes time...lots of time, especially if a child has cognitive delays.  Meanwhile, these behaviors can be taxing on the parents and siblings, especially out in public or at a social gathering.  There are times when I think, “I need a drink” before going out in public.  But then I remember that I don't drink whiskey and wine wouldn't be strong enough. 

No matter where we are, when my youngest son is overcome with emotion, he just has to express himself.  He doesn't talk, but he can make noise.  It's amusing when he's happy; it's not so amusing when he's angry or frustrated.  When we're out in public, people stare. They stare whether my son is making happy sounds or angry sounds.  Sometimes the stares are sympathetic.  Sometimes the stares are clearly saying “WTF?”  It's to that last group of people that I am tempted to say this: “My kid had a brain hemorrhage at birth, lost oxygen at birth, battled seizures for the first two years, has mild cerebral palsy, is legally blind, cognitively delayed, and doesn't talk.  What's your kid's excuse?”  I would be smiling while saying this of course. :-) ,


  1. I love that while reading your blog, I can HEAR your voice in my head. True honesty my friend is why that is possible.

  2. "True honesty my friend is why that is possible." Hehehe...I guess it's a good thing that I don't drink before going out in public, because then I would get really honest. :-)



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