Hudson Valley Parent

HVP July 2019

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18 Hudson Valley Parent n July 2019 aids. "He is a boy. He is a human. He loves to laugh and run and play. My kiddo is loved and fine and living his best life. He is capable of everything any other kiddo his age does, he just doesn't hear 100% like they do." Instead of apologizing… So, what can you say instead? Exactly what you would say to any typical family: "Your child is adorable, what a great smile, I love that outfit," etc. We want our children to be seen for who they are - awesome, well-loved kids. By RIELLY GREY M oms of children with special needs endure a full spectrum of greetings, from apologies and hearsay cures to disbelief and even ridicule. You would be amazed at the things people have said to me about my child and yet, it happens so often that it's something all parents of children with special needs can relate to. Our job as special needs parents is not only to advocate for our children to ensure they receive the proper services and learn about the world around them, but also to continually educate our family and friends. Awareness is all about sharing our stories to encourage understanding and empathy. 1. Please don't apologize If we focus only on the diagnosis and its limitations, then we could miss the wonderful child in front of us. Especially with recent advancements in therapy and assistive aides, children with special needs are living fulfilling lives without missing out on anything as compared to typical peers. So, please don't apologize when you see a child in a wheelchair or using special equipment. These aides allow our children to be capable and independent. And more importantly, our children are not their devices or their diagnosis. Even if you mean well or can't think of anything else to say, acknowledging the disability first is heartbreaking to hear. Melissa-Lynn from Middletown doesn't want people to focus on her son's hearing 2. "But he doesn't look like he has a disability" So how can you tell if a child has a disability? You can't. That's why it's so important to check with the parents first. We would much prefer you ask permission to say hello before bending down and popping into the child's personal space bubble unannounced. My son is on the autism spectrum and very wary of meeting anyone new. The smell of your perfume, the color of your clothes, even the sound of your voice are all unfamiliar and therefore could create loads of 6 things you need to know about my child with special needs Advice from mothers on how to approach someone with special needs Rielly Grey's toddler is on the autism spectrum. She says her job is to advocate for her son and to teach him about the world and she also teaches the world about him.

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