Every Child a ‘Special Needs’ Child

Do we really think all of our children need to be ‘diagnosed’ and ‘labeled’ with some sort of disorder before we start to understand that EVERY CHILD IS A SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD?!?!!

adhdHaving worked with young children for a couple of decades I noticed a definite ramping up in numbers of children diagnosed with ADD or ADHD or Autism or something on the Autistic Spectrum and on and on and on… not to mention the jump in the number of children in various ‘therapy’ programs, be it Speech Therapy or Behavioral Therapy.  Surely those of you who have been providing care for other people’s children over the past 10 years or so have noticed the same?

autismThere are many ‘professionals’ speculating as to the cause of this apparent explosion… looking at things like prenatal care, diet, environmental pollutants, etc.  I may be in the minority here but it all just leaves me shaking my head because from my perspective… I’d say the kids are trying to teach us something invaluable and once again… we seem to be missing the boat.

In order to understand my perspective it might help to know that I definitely held, and continue to hold, that the ‘teaching‘ going on in my childcare home was definitely heavier on the side of the children teaching ME rather than vice versa! That said, let me sum up what I believe they are currently teaching us:

  • Stay Present with Me – Yes, as adults we have developed a habit that serves NO ONE. We are looking backwards or looking forward but rarely, rarely are we fully present in the NOW. Which is where children live!!!
  • Pay Attention to What I Need – This doesn’t mean you, as the guardian, should put your own needs on the back burner. In fact, that would be foolhardy. It does mean that each child is always expressing their needs; they may be doing that in a way you don’t understand yet it’s crucial to VALIDATE not VIOLATE the needs of each individual child.

Those are two very powerful and wise concepts. I’ll be addressing each of them seperately in future posts. In the meantime, let’s ease up on the labeling and simply start LISTENING. I have a hunch it will serve our children and our community in bigger and better ways than anything else!

Play well together ;-) ,

Mary K

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-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´* Breathe


2 thoughts on “Every Child a ‘Special Needs’ Child

  1. So true, Mary.

    No one is perfect. Everyone has a uneven neurological profile: we all have strengths and weaknesses in various areas, regardless of how “smart” we are.

    There are days that I see kids who are so depressed and frustrated because they don’t fit into society’s definition of success. The worse thing about it is, these kids are sometimes very successful in several other areas, but the adults around them seem to have forgotten that success in school does not predict life success.

    Kind of reminds of that book “All I need to know I learned in Kindergarten.”

    P.S. I love your site Mary! So happy to have found a like-minded thinker!

    1. Amen, Sister! :-) So well said, Rachel.

      And thanks for bringing me back to this one, Rachel. It’s always interesting to me how quickly and easily we can become blind to the obvious… and pretend that something else is so. Oh, we often start out with the best of intentions… yet frequently in our efforts to serve some targeted group that is perceived by educators (for reasons both simple and complex) as ‘disadvantaged’ we lose sight of the truth.

      For instance, yesterday I found myself in the city passing an Elementary School. They had a big banner across the the front of the building that said:

      “If You Don’t Show Up, You Can’t Learn”

      Now I understand this school is in an area of the city that suffers sketchy attendance and high drop out rates and their intention was probably to encourage attendance…

      Yet didn’t occur to anyone in the school system that what that banner says is PATENTLY UNTRUE??? Humans, of ALL ages, are ALWAYS learning! “Learning” is virtually interchangeable with “growth”.

      Ahhh… I can feel another post coming on… LOL

      Thanks so much Rachel – I am equally happy to have found YOU! :)

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