Six Things NOT to Tell a Parent of a Special Needs Child

This article, entitled Six Things NOT to Tell a Parent of a Special Needs Child comes from Cathy at bountifulplate.

How many of us have seen a child in a wheelchair? Or a child with Autism or another kind of special needs and you aren’t quite sure what to say or how to act without offending the family or child? Here are things you SHOULDN’T say!

Six Things NOT to Tell a Parent of a Special Needs Child:

  1. Will your child always be in a wheelchair? Or have special needs?
    We aren’t sure. All we are sure of is that she/he needs a wheelchair and/or has special needs now. When you speak to me, please include my child in the conversation. Get down on their level and acknowledge them, please don’t ignore them.
  2. Is your child an “idiot savant?”
    The word “idiot savant” is an outdated and derogatory term. The correct term is “autistic savant.” Some children with Autism have extraordinary expertise in areas such as art, music or math, but that doesn’t automatically make my child an “autistic savant.” We embrace ALL of their special “talents.”
  3. I’m sorry
    Please don’t feel sorry for my child or our family. We don’t feel sorry for ourselves, so please don’t pity us.
  4. I would never let my child behave like that!!
    Just because a child may not “look” like they have special needs, she/he does. Please don’t pass judgment or offer advice.
  5. What’s “wrong” with him/her?
    There is nothing “wrong” with him/her, they have some special challenges. Say instead, “hi, this is my daughter/son, can I introduce them to your child?” Or “what is your child’s name and where do they go to school?” It’s a much better way to start a conversation with me.
  6. Will they always live with you?
    We do look into our child’s future, but right now we take each day one at a time.

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About the Author...
Cathy B
Cathy is a homemaker, wife and mother to a son with special needs, an adult daughter and stepmom to an adult son.
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