All kids are created…equally?

Obviously whenever someone decides to begin this journey known as parenting, we (for the most part) all hope and dream the BIGGEST things for our kids. When you are presented with a “special needs child” you realize that you still have big goals, although they might have to be tinkered with a little bit.

For us? We’re pretty lucky that Jillian has no cognitive delays, just gross motor delays. I really began thinking about how children with special needs are treated after reading Tanis’ post from Redneck Mommy shortly after Halloween. In fact? It made me think about how Jillian was treated on Halloween too. Jillian had demanded to come home quickly after we left on Halloween, I assumed she was cold, but then I realized since I couldn’t get her chair up to the door, people were ignoring her.

This past weekend was my older daughter’s 4th birthday party. We opted for a bowling party, always trying to find something new and fun for her to do with her friends. When I announced where Lauren’s party would be, her face dropped. She said “But, mommy, Jillian can’t do anything” I told her I had already talked to the bowling alley and they had some adaptive ramps for Jillian to use while we were there. (And mentally? I was patting myself on the back for Lauren’s behaviour, so kind and loving of her sister). We arrived at the bowling alley (after calling twice about the ramp) and reminded the people at the bowling alley that I had called and requested an adaptive ramp. They had two ramps as far as I could see. One was in use, the other wasn’t. I was informed that they would bring the ramp over.

After getting all the kids over to the lane, I went back to get bowling shoes and once again reminded them about the ramp we had requested. They said they’d bring it over. For this particular party, we had 1 hour of bowling, followed by food and then cake. After 45 minutes of the other kids bowling, I decided I had had enough and I wasn’t waiting anymore. Lauren had just come up to me and said “Mommy, you promised Jillian could play” and that, that is when my heart broke into a million pieces. (and also it solidified that maybe I’m not doing too badly with this parenting thing) Lauren then made Adam sit on the lane and help Jillian roll balls down the lane. Still. I was SO upset that it appeared that I let Lauren down. I know I didn’t technically let her down, but I just wish that other people will see my child (and any other child with special needs) as what they are. A child. Who needs, love, attention and to be treated equally among peers. Regardless of cognitive ability. I hope I never see Lauren with tears in her eyes after being let down by other people regarding her sister.

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