2.04.2008

I Hate Everybody, Except Maybe Your Special Needs Child

I Hate Everybody, Except Maybe Your Special Needs Child

Not really, but after three months packed with so many activities and trips and functions and tasks and so little sleep that at times it felt like free falling, I have finally hit the ground. And I'm grumpy.

The main thing I am irritable about is unhelpful, unkind people. People who don't help not because they can't, but because they're either too ignorant to notice when people need help, or too afraid to ask *how* to help. People like the parents who asked an acquaintance and her kids to leave a social circle because she objected to how her special needs child was being teased and bullied by some typical kids within the circle. My ever-so-typically measured response:

Cut those b!tches and their little tro11s loose and find some friends who get you and your kids.

But make sure you write [them] a letter letting them know how disappointed you are in them and their behavior. Make it diplomatic yet truthful. Go through several drafts, sit on it a few times until the anger you are rightfully feeling leaches out if it, otherwise they won't listen. The parents will be defensive, but -- unless they are completely sociopathic -- your message will sink in and it may make a difference in how they behave the next time they encounter a family who is "different."

Hook up with local SN families. See if anyone near you wants to play. We are each other's lifeboats, in my opinion.
Another friend, who has actual rather than theoretical diplomacy skills, suggested that perhaps the conflict resolution fiasco stemmed from communications being handled via the murky, warped vessel that is email. And that is possible. But I am past caring:

People who don't give special needs kids extra accommodations or make extra efforts [to help them] in social settings can fuck right off, as far as I'm concerned. She needs to find safe social spaces for herself and her kids. They can get all the "typical" socializing they can stand at their school.
This is not to say I am the greatest at helping other families out, either. Iz goes over to her friends' houses about fifteen times more often than her friends get dropped off here. But I do try. And believe it or not, just because I have a special needs child doesn't mean that I automatically grok his peers -- they are as different from each other as any other children. And I am always afraid that I will make errors or say stupid things in trying to get to know my friends' SN kids. But, again, in my own anxious, hesitant way I do try. And you know what? I am almost always rewarded. Almost always.

There should be some kind of pat wrap-up here but I have to go run three simultaneous errands. Just try to do right, try to stand up the next time you're in a position to help special needs kids or their families in a time of need. And if you can't work through any selfishness or cowardice roadblocks, then please wait another week before you tell me about it.

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