This is the definition of Special Needs as per Random House Dictionary/Dictionary.com:

Special Needs

Plural-noun

“The special educational requirements of those with learning difficulties, emotional or behavioral problems, or physical disabilities.”

What I find to be ironic here is that “learning difficulties” is the first adjective written, but to the average person it is not the first thing people think of when they hear of a child with special needs.

I don’t know why Luke has a learning disability. I don’t know why it takes him so long to process certain information, simple information, it just is. What I do know is how frustrating it can be when other people judge or mistreat my son based on his appearance. It’s not discrimination to a Jackie Robinson level, but it does get to a point where it can get you extremely heated. Whether it’s the school board, some random person at the park or even worse, a family member, it’s absurd that people would think your child is not in the condition you are claiming him to be based on his physical appearance.

Funny thing about this...Tim Tebow responded & it was retweeted over 1000 times. I think we got our point across

Funny thing about this…Tim Tebow responded & it was retweeted over 1000 times. I think we got our point across.

Not long ago, we were at an event that was geared towards children with special needs, and a mother turned to my wife and myself and questioned my son having an IEP (Individualized Education Plan). Unaware that Luke was our son at the time, we kind of looked at each other with this look of disbelief. Being the bigger person I gave my response in a “well actually” type of manner and did not lose my cool. My wife on the other hand wanted to fly across the room like Justin Tuck lunging at Michael Vick at the goal line.

Did you ever find yourself in a similar situation?

How I wish I could get into that head of his and see what is going on

How I wish I could get into that head of his and see what is going on

I sometimes catch myself looking at Luke from the corner of my eye as he flies down our hallway and just think of how different things would be for him if he did not have these hurdles.  For the obvious reasons, that is ok for me to think about. I do have an issue with someone else telling us our son is “fine” or “there’s nothing wrong with him”. Unless you are from Krypton and can see something others can’t, you should not judge based on ones physical appearance. It’s not fine for your child to have spent more hours as a patient in a hospital room than you have spent as a patient or visitor your entire life. It’s not fine to be on vacation in South Carolina, only to have your son have multiple seizures that can only be controlled by a medication that was not in our possession causing us to drive to four different pharmacies over two states to obtain (thank you Savannah, GA CVS). It’s not fine for our son to be hooked up to electrodes or be rushed to the hospital for an allergic reaction that was caused by him drinking from his brother’s cup by mistake.

I was never one for clichés, but seriously people…Don’t judge a kid by his big blue eyes.

If you have experienced this same type of “discrimination”, I would love to hear from you.

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