I get it. People get nervous around kids with special needs. We don’t want to offend. We don’t want to feel awkward. Sometimes it’s just easier to keep our distance. It really isn’t hard though, moving out of this particular safety zone. It can be as simple as saying ‘hello’ to my child with Down syndrome.
We were leaving the Pediatrician’s office today when, as we walked by, a young mom reached out to tell me how cute Parker was. She then smiled at Parker and told him she hoped he felt better soon. No staring at the trach. No staring at the tubing leading to the oxygen bottle. No squinting while trying to figure out what might be ‘wrong’ with Parker.
Simply a sweet greeting, a wish to feel better, and saying hello to my child with Down syndrome. She chose to see the kid first.
As we headed toward the elevator, Parker looked up at me and signed ‘friend.’ My heart burst forth with love for my son, and appreciation for a Mama willing to set the example for her kids on how to include those with special needs into their comfort zones.
It truly is as easy as that.