Sunday, 14 October 2012

Special babies go to special people

Special babies go to special people. I hate this phrase.

I hate it because it is untrue and because I can't help but feel that the speaker of said phrase is only saying it to make themselves feel better.

I know it is untrue because I have met lots of parents of special needs kids who are not fabulous parents, who have done some pretty horrific things to their kids, and who  have not done a very good job of meeting their kids special needs.

This is definitely NOT the case with ALL parents I meet, but I have met some real winners, to be sure. The phrase "apple....tree" comes up fairly frequently actually - as in "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree".

Obviously this isn't the case with DS, where the disability is coming from extra genetic material, but I still question the validity of saying that only people capable of raising a child with special needs are given one.

Oh, there is a special irony that I can appreciate in having a spec ed teacher like myself have a child with DS. But I don't do her kind of spec ed, or work with her age group. So I am just as unprepared as everyone else when something like this happens.

I know I don't sound unprepared now. I sound pretty confident and self assured. That 's because my secret passion is research. I LOVE research. I love reading. I love saying the phrase, "Well, the research says that...". Seriously. It may be my favourite phrase in the entire world after "I love you".

I read the research, assimilate it into my bank of knowledge and strategies, and launch from there prepared to tackle our latest challenge. And when I don't know what to do, I ask our fabulous supports from the DS team, or my small group of mom's who, like myself, are trying to do the best by our kids. It's a win-win situation.

So special babies do not all go to special parents. But I am thankful to have met a small group of us who are pretty wicked parents and who have special little kids with DS.

Happy Sunday.


  1. goes quite well with God doesn't give you more than you can handle or they are angels on earth....

  2. Exactly. I've never heard the angels one, but I hate the God doesn't give you... line too.

  3. Well said, I sometimes think it's verging on positive discrimination and people feel the need to be nicer than they would normally be if a child has different needs to others!

  4. Well said! I agree 100%. I have seen some pretty horrific things working in health care. . . yet, I have seen amazing things. I wish special babies went to special people, but I know that isn't the case.

  5. Sometimes parents become special people through their contact with a special child, perhaps learning to
    "live fully, love wastefully and be all that we can be"
    (quote is a JSSpong).

    1. And you are right Liz, I do feel like I have grown by leaps and bounds as a person since I have had her. A lot of it has to do with the way I think about things. This has had to change dramatically. Thanks for the quote.

  6. I prefer ... Children with disabilities are born to normal ordinary parents, and if you rise to the challenge of raising that child you can end up with a pretty fantastic family.

    I remember when our son was born with Ds - I didn't embrace the idea of raising a child with Down syndrome at first - and I certainly didn't feel "special" or even "good" ... I had to make it through all the stages of grief and then some before I fully embraced the challenge of raising this child. Now I couldn't imagine our family without him and he's a pretty fantastic kid (age 10) who at the end of every day when we ask him how his day was exclaims, "It was AMAZING! The best day ever!"

    The other reason this phrase bugs me so much is because 90% of women who find out via amniocentesis that their baby will be born with Down syndrome choose to terminate - so were they special too?