Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Parents' Words Make a Difference

She has one child who is blind. And another with autism. Pat Linkhorn explained to me that people must see her children apart from their circumstance. 
My kids aren’t special needs kids -- 
they’re kids with special needs. 
“When people say ‘special needs kids’ it implies the whole package is wrong. They’re normal kids who simply have a unique condition,” said Pat.             
She candidly writes of her child with blindness in this Letter to God:
            “I thought you'd made a terrible mistake when my child was born and I said some pretty rotten things to and about you. It seemed so unfair. I couldn't believe that you'd given me this child as part of "the plan." I was sure you'd made a horrendous mistake and I'm sure you got tired of me begging for a miracle in one breath then turning around and saying mean things about you in the next. I'm truly sorry.
            This child has changed my life. She's made me be all that I'm capable of and more than I ever imagined.
            And I know now that all the times I accused you of deserting me, you were, in fact, carrying me just as the Footprints poem says. Miracles might be in short supply today, but just for the record, thanks for letting me see.”
            Through Pat’s teaching, I learned my word choice is critical. The old childhood chant, “Sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” is false. Words can deeply wound a child and her parents. For the little effort it takes, I want to choose words that show I recognize and respect similar parents and their children.

Special Needs Alphabet
What are those professionals or other parents saying? To give you a jumpstart on their lingo, here’s a list of common acronyms associated with individual challenges -

ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder
ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder
AS - Aspergers Syndrome
ASL - American Sign Language
BD - Behavior Disorders
BIP - Behavioral Intervention Plan
CAPD - Central Auditory Processing Disorder
CP – Cerebral Palsy
EMH - Educable Mentally Handicapped
FAE – Fetal Alcohol Exposure or FAS - Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
GT - Gifted/Talented
HI - Hearing Impaired
IEP - Individualized Education Program (sometimes called Individualized Education Plan)
LD - Learning Disabilities
LEP - Limited-English-Proficient
MCAD - Medium Chain acyl CoA Dehydrogenase (disease in which the body is unable to break down fats to make energy)
ODD – Oppositional Defiant Disorder
PDD - Pervasive Developmental Disorder
RADReactive Attachment Disorder
TBI - Traumatic Brain Injury
TCI – Therapeutic Crisis Intervention
TMH - Trainable Mentally Handicapped
VI - Visually Impaired

Do you have more acronyms to add? Leave your comments below.
©Copyright, Brenda Nixon.

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