Our Role & words hurt — 5 Minutes for Special Needs

So I was thinking, draw 3 circles on a piece of paper.  One inside the other, so really you have 3 cirles around each other(as pictured)
The inner circle is our children, this is their culture of being a child with special needs.
The middle circle is us, the parents.  We’re not in the same circle as our kids because we’ll never fully understand what it’s like to be in that inner circle.  Even if, as parents, we have special needs.  We understand that as individuals, things have changed and are not the same for our children as it was for us in our younger days.
That 3rd circle or the outer circle is everyone else.  The “Pop” Culture, if you will, that doesn’t understand those in the middle, they don’t understand what it’s like to be in the inner circle either.
It’s our job, as the middle circle, to run interferrance or protect the inner circle.  There are many times that we long to be the outer cirle but we know where our duty lays.  But with any job/career/or parenting…sometimes we feel like our lines get fuzzy…and things happen to make us think. 
*part 2*
Last week a friend did something that took me by complete surprise.  She Slapped her hand/wrist on her chest as if mocking another with Intelectual disabilities.  I looked at her when she did it with my eyes like saucers and my jaw dropped.  I wish I could have said something…but I think a feather could have knocked me off my seat.  I was shocked, she knew it, because her statement to me was…”what? I can do that I have a special need kid”. 
No, it’s not ok she did that!  But at the moment it made me stunned and made the rest of the visit awkward.  I did later say something to her about it, I told her that it wasn’t ok that she did that.  Just because she has a child with special needs it doesn’t give her the right to make light of the situation.  By doing that to or infront of others, she was sending off the message that it was alright to make fun of another. 
Sometimes your heart gets broken by someone you thought knew better, or I guess, I thought knew better.  But in the end WORDS HURT, Actions speak louder than words.  While we’re playing that Middle Cirle role…remember people on either side are looking at us to set the example. 
Put a bandaid or bandadge  or maybe  a picture of  a bandange in your wallet or purse…so when your stumped or shocked at something someone says or does…instead of saying anything you can pass them that bandage …and write upon it WORDS HURT!
Email Author    |    Website About Tammie

I'm a homeschooling mom to a wonderful special boy. Tristan has spastic quadraplegia (CP), severe cortical vision impairment, seizure disorder, and he is non-verbal. I honestly think he's the one doing the teaching. I would not change anything!

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1 Lauren May 2, 2011 at 9:19 pm

It’s kind of like how people bring out their race cards, and claim they’re the only ones who can mock their own, but it always baffles me why they feel there is a need for it, or think it’s remotely funny.

2 Lorene June 30, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Now I’m like, well duh! Truly thafnukl for your help.

3 Erin July 10, 2011 at 5:13 pm


I am a relatively new mother of a special needs son who has DS (Down Syndrome). I am learning rather quickly how insensitive people can be. I am working hard to use my actions to model for others. I still struggle when others use the word “retarted” so freely. I am going to utilize your suggestion of the heart with a band aide with “words hurt”. I feel this is the perfect place to start for me. Thank you for sharing your experiences and being a model for me as well.


4 Tammie July 10, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Welcome! I’m sorry that anyone would say anything to you that hurts. Sometimes it hits you out of no where. Family can sometimes be the ones that hurt the most. Good luck with your journey. Celebrate every accomplishment, milestone & positive moments. Hang in there.


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