Redefining What It Means To Be Special Needs!

  There seems to be more of a growth in awareness, openness, and acceptance with those living with autism. This makes me so excited as a parent with a beautiful autistic child in seeing finally as a society we are redefining our perception of those with special needs and autism! Many parents and teachers have long known the amazing lives of children with autism before the more recent popularity of focus. Many parents like myself kind of kept things close to home as families of their triumphs, challenges, personalities, and achievements within their disabilities of the safety of our walls. Social media along with many celebrities who are parents of children with special needs or who have come forward with being on the autistic spectrum have opened our eyes to redefining what we thought being “special needs” really was. My hope is that we continue to break down barriers, perceptions, and stereotypes associated with autism and special needs in opening our minds to this complexed puzzle.

Open and expand your mind to redefining special needs and autism with these admired traits:

They have personality! Our daughter has learned how to master the selfie, and there is no turning back! Regardless if they are verbal, nonverbal, or in the case of our daugther who is more “selectively verbal” they communicate in their own special way their thoughts and feelings. I haven’t met a child with autism that haven’t left an impression on my heart with their unique personalities, expressions, and subtle way of letting you into their world.

They are intelligent. Our learning styles varies in diversity. It’s exceptional in importance with understanding how to engage with learning with a child with autism. Many are very intelligent and may in some areas excell beyond that of their counterparts in certain subjects, interests, and gifts within the arts. I’ve met many intelligent children and adults who have autism. Their learning comprehension may differ in response to certain concepts, but they excel in their learning all the same. Our daugther loves to learn! She looks forward everday to discover something new to build her brain muscles in learning in a book, an educational video on her tablet, or a hands on activity.

They are talented ! Daily you can look in the media or social media sites to see an individual with special needs defying the odds and breaking barriers with their talents. Many have gone against society’s expectations to achieve their greatness in music, dance, the arts, and even strutting down the catwalk! Our daughter has always had the gift of singing and the rhythm of dance. I have watched along with many of her instructors in awe as she graciously dances or opens up in the right key to sing a song.

They are social in their own way. Everyone has their social likes and discomfort regarding interacting with others. Children with autism and special needs can be social based upon their comfort level, reaction to stimuli, or sensory. Some maybe outgoing extroverts and some may choose to be introverted selecting to be close socially with those they feel more of a connection with. Our daughter is a combination of both. She likes to play to herself or around other children, but she doesn’t play in interaction directly with them often. She does however enjoy sharing affection with hugs and high fives to those she feels more comfortable with.

They have a voice! Children with autism and special needs deserve to be respected in sharing their rights of expression, needs, and opinion as anyone else. Some may need help with parents and teachers advocating for their voice or cause. It doesn’t change the fact though the importance in allowing their voice to be heard. Our daugther shares in her own way her likes, opinions, and her thoughts. She may like playing alone, but knows the difference if she is being excluded. She hates that, and let’s us know her desire in wanting to be accepted with being apart.

Paris selected her dress that she wanted to wear for church. She decided she did not want to match her twin sister that day.

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