How Special is Your “Special Needs” Child?

THERAsurf takes special needs kids out onto the waves

I have been struggling with the issue of labels. I have a special needs child, but I believe all children are special – and they all, in some way, have special needs, as I discussed in an early blog post.

So, how special is “special”? Actually, my child doesn’t qualify for most programs – she isn’t “special” enough for them. But sometimes as I see her struggling with something I realize she is more “special” than I thought.

So what is the real meaning of “special”?

Clearly a child who is a musical prodigy is also worthy of being called “special.” Merriam-Webster says special is an adjective meaning distinguished by some unusual quality. So, the term “special” really means different. I have no problem with the term “different needs child” but I suspect someone somewhere would find it offensive. And again, every child has different needs so it seems redundant to me.

Most people don’t know my child’s medical history, and they really don’t need to know it. But I don’t want it to be viewed as some deep, dark secret, either. I continue to struggle with this.

How do you handle it with your child?

About the Author

Rosie Reeves is a writer and mother of three; including one with special needs. She works side-by-side with her daughter’s therapists, teachers and doctors. Rosie has also served as the Los Angeles Special Needs Kids Examiner. She can be reached at rosie327@aol.com.Rosie is a member of the PedSafe Expert team

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