Sunday, July 31, 2011

With disabilities are gifts

I am amazed at the wonderful gifts my daugther posseses! Yet, thinking back, one of the things that first concerned me was her way of lining up toys (and not playing with them the way they were intended) which is one of the signs of autism. We are in the present now, and I really do believe she has gifts in disguise.
 In my daughter's case, I think she's free from social barriers allowing her to think in ways that others might not. With that in mind, she can
design just about anything of out uncommon items. She sees and relates to things in creative ways that wouldn't be typical to the everyday onlooker.  

The first time I noticed her ability to think outside the box was when she was about 3 or 4. She made a birthday party for her stuffed animals and made them all party hats out of cups and a shoe. The other day at Starbucks, she made these intricate designs in like 6 seconds with some wooden stir sticks. This is something she does from time to time to pass the time when go out for a coffee. She also makes "structures" from unique items at home and at school. She has the potential to be an engineer, architect, designer, or artist, and my husband and I are giving her every opportunity to find her dreams. Although, the other day she said she wanted to be a fire fighter, and that's fine too..whatever she wants to be, she can be. She enjoys being creative and also the joy in our faces when we see what she has done. It makes her self-esteem skyrocket.

I believe that individual gifts are not valued and celebrated enough for children with disabilities. Maybe they are by parents, but not so much by schools and the community as a whole. Rather than focusing solely on disabilities, therapies, services, what a child cannot do, and what needs to be fixed, what can we do to help celebrate the gifts of all children?

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