I wanted to share my thoughts with you about something that has been on my mind for a long time, so here goes!
Like all of us, I always look forward to weekends! Of course, there is always work that is pending but somehow we all make time for relaxation! Meeting up with friends and family gatherings are always fun right!
So.. this thought set upon me during many such gatherings when I realised that each time I mention that I work with children with special needs, I get similar responses from almost everyone. Are you wondering what those responses are? Here goes...“Oh they are so poor thing”, “How do you teach them?”, “Can they understand what is going on?”. Every single time I hear such comments, I make it a point to explain how capable my students are! No kidding! I really do!
I realised that it is very common for people to underestimate children with special needs. When it comes to special needs, every little thing they do seems to be greatly magnified by people. We tend to underestimate their abilities! I think there needs to be a change in the perception towards ‘special needs’. It is perceived as a weakness and people tend to think they are not intellectual.
How about we start to look at their strengths and focus on their capabilities instead! Let’s not make them feel low about themselves but motivate and accept them for who they are instead! Let’s not ignore the fact that a change is needed! Ignorance is not bliss! It is about time we create more awareness. I am not saying people’s perceptions are going to change overnight. However, we can take little steps by being positive towards people with special needs. No, they are not less capable! My students never fail to amaze me in many ways! So say it out loud, THEY ARE DIFFERENTLY ABLED, NOT LESS CAPABLE!!!
Image credit goes to Karen Salmansohn (not salmon.com)