Treated As An Equal

It is something we strive for when we have a child with special needs. We want the other children to treat our children as they would other friends. We want adults to have the same expectations as they would another child. We want our children to be included in the school classroom. I can’t count the number of times I’ve asked, “If it was any other kid, how would you handle it?”

The problem is, our children are special and there is going to be some special treatment. You cannot always follow the same rules for them as you would with other children. Knowing where to draw that line is not always easy, though.

For example, my daughter will be taken out of class to ride her trike or push the doll carriage when she simply cannot sit still any longer. She is in charge of milk count and collection for her class and each day she gets to choose a friend to help. She sometimes sits at the table when the others are on the carpet for reading time. Concessions have to be made for her. She is not a typical 6 year old.

However, this does not mean she gets the run of the school. She is¬†expected to follow rules. She cannot simply disrupt class because she’s cute. She doesn’t always get to be line leader or the tail so she can waive at everyone as they walk by.¬†

Today, when I went to the Mother’s Tea that the kindergarteners had been preparing for for weeks, she wanted to run up to me and give me a hug before she got on the risers with her classmates to sing their songs. Her para refused to let that happen. This set Peanut off and she began to cry. Sometimes this can mean total meltdown and I was worried the entire event was about to be ruined for the two of us. Thankfully, she came around and did a great job.

This leaves a question in my head, though. Was that the right decision? On one hand, none of the other children did that so why should Peanut get special treatment. On the other, concessions are made for her in some instances; should this have been one of them?

I’m not upset with how this was handled or do I necessarily feel it should have been handled differently. I’m just curious. Where should we draw the line on situations like this? What do you think?

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