Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Make Mine Chubby Hubby

It never fails.

I took Ms. P to get her hairs cut the other day.  It is all one length with no bangs, and I don't get it trimmed all that often because a) it saves me some money and b) she isn't a huge fan of getting her hair cut.

Anyhoo, when we are in a situation where she might freak out a bit, I try to warn the person we are dealing with that she is special needs and may not truly understand what the person is saying to her, and that she has difficulty communicating verbally.

If I had a buck for every person who says, "What, this adorable angel is special needs?  Are you serious?  She certainly doesn't look like a special needs child," I would have the money for that very expensive purse I've been eyeing lately.

And this is where I have to keep my eyes from rolling far, far back into my head because I want to ask them what exactly does a special needs child look like?

Why does a child have to look like they have a disability for people to accept that they have one?

I suppose in my pre-special needs child past, I wasn't as aware of the huge and broad spectrum of disabilities that children can have, but I certainly wasn't stuck in a place where I thought only kids who were in wheelchairs or who had Down's Syndrome were the only ones who qualified as special needs.

This probably plays into the whole stigma our society has against disabilities that involve the brain and not the body.  Because she certainly does look perfectly healthy.  And my own family has even accused me of "wanting" something to be wrong with her.  Does no one realize how difficult it is for a mother to look at her child and admit that there might be something "not normal" about them?

I am truly lucky that my daughter's prognosis is fairly good, and that they expect her to be at peer level in a few years.  But oh, the effort to get her there.  The hours and hours of therapies that she has to endure.  And yes, they are structured in a way that could be construed as play, but have no doubts that she is expected to work during her sessions.  Two days out of the week she has a one-on-one session with her speech pathologist as well as turning around and attending her speech-immersive preschool.  I can tell that she is more exhausted at the end of the day on these days, and my heart hurts for her a little.

But maybe it shouldn't because she doesn't look like there is anything wrong with her.

Jeebus, I need some ice cream.


Kelley @ magneto bold too said...

people are stupid.

You are awesome.

Liz said...

I think any one who cuts hair for a living should assume any kid doesn't want to be there. Geez, I think I am losing faith in people in general.

Christa aka The BabbyMama said...

You know, I might once have been that person, but nowadays I keep my mouth shut because I don't know what anyone else is dealing with. You can't see most of the challenges people are dealing with! (Kids or not.)

Nance said...

I'm sure that all of them are Trying To Be Nice. It's their way of paying a compliment. Certainly, for you, it is tiring and tedious.

Sometimes, I think people just say way too much. Like Christa said above, most people should just shut the hell up rather than babble on and try too hard. What if the stylist had just said, "Well, she is a lovely little girl!" Period.

I used to tell my kids, both in school and my personal kids at home, that if they just operated from the initial premise that Most People Are Stupid, their lives would be much easier. I realize that is harsh now, and maybe I should say instead, "Most people just don't get it." Same principle, but less judgy.

Awesome Mom said...

It is rough. Although Evan does have the "look" because of his odd gait and obviously un used left hand. It certainly has opened my eyes and my heart which is not a bad lesson for everyone to have even if I would not wish what I have gone through on my own worst enemy.

Anvilcloud said...

Ice cream does help -- also chocolate and chips, but not necessarily all together.

Gina said...

@Kelley- I AM awesome, aren't I? ;)

@Liz- Right? I mean, this is a place that specializes in kids' haircuts!

@Christa- I never thought about extending it to adults, but duh! Of course! I think the moral of the story is that we just don't know anything about ANYBODY and should just keep our judgy thoughts to ourselves!

@Nance- Ha! That phrase you told to your kids sounds exactly like something my sister, teacher of 20+ years, would also say.

@AM- Your challenges are so completely different than mine, I can't even begin to imagine how hard it must have been/must be! Hugs!

@AC- One day I will do all three together and tell you how it tastes.

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

My father in law used to say, when talking about driving, "Just assume everyone else is a jackass". I think sometimes that's a fair assessment of humanity, though that's sad indeed.

I think about people who park in handicap spaces, and how if they look like there's no issue, people judge. I try to give the benefit of the doubt and assume there's something going on that I don't know about, and that is none of my damn business.