Part of being a parent of Special Needs kids is good PR (Public Relations.)
What I say to someone about my boys, could impact how they perceive children with Special Needs, AND parents of those with special needs.
Think about this. This is great power I have in my hands. I can either change the world, or scare it!
I often get stuck in line, or get stopped in the mall, and people have NO idea what they’re getting themselves into. Common perception of boys is that they are simply ADORABLE identical twin boys. Having twins is a completely different blog, people are fascinated and enamoured by them.
So, back to the line… People chat me up about twins, how they must be a challenge, if I have any more, how do I do it? Which I entertain… Then I wait. I wait for the question, which usually comes out like this….
“How old are they?”
I am appreciative of people asking this instead of what is really plaguing their minds.
I smile and tell them “5 and a half” and wait.
Now, here is where the PR comes in. I have to gauge what the person in conversation will do with the information I could present.
A lady in line tonight at Walmart replied “oh, I thought they were 2! Shows you how out of the loop I am!”
I laughed and politely said ” oh, I could understand that, they act like they’re 2, but they actually have a disability so they’re a bit delayed”
This usually mortifies people. I honestly don’t want to do this to people.
As a mom of Special Needs, I want to create tolerance and understanding of ANYONE who is different. I WANT people to ask questions. I think asking questions avoids ignorance and intolerance.
I could probably go on and on on this topic alone….
I think the simple point is that it never gets easier, having to explain to people why my 5 year olds don’t talk, or walk extended distances… I know I don’t HAVE to explain to anyone, but this is my PR choice. I want to educate and reduce ignorance.
Our family had been chosen to change our little bit of the world, one person at a time…