I taught children with special needs for seven of my nine years of teaching. Most often people would hear my occupation and say , "Oh God bless you,what a gift you are." Funny to me because I never felt that I was a gift. I had a gift to teach and I shared it with these children who gave me more than I could have ever given to them. Smiles on my bad days, a sense of pride watching them read a book when only months before they were just beginning to recognize letters, hugs and love and lots of appreciation. Their parents gave to me too, with compliments and appreciation and relief to know that I truly cared for their child. I miss being able to share in this way now that I am home with the my own kiddos, but I know that some day I will be back there working with amazing children and their inspiring families.
Some of today's lessons to those who do not have children with special needs were:
- Include their children in birthday parties and attend theirs.
- Extend an invite to a play date or go to their home for one.
- Ask questions if you have to about their child.
- Don't always assume a child misbehaving or acting out in public is typically developing, they may have a special need. Don't automatically blame the parenting for their reactions and behaviors.