Its About Education

If you haven't yet seen the article or video about the teacher in West Virginia removing a microphone from a child who has autism wanting to speak, you can take a look here. I have seen so many posts on Facebook linking to the video and the backlash has been obvious among families of children with special needs and other compassionate families alike.

I have been rather quiet as truly, I am not surprised. In this nation where we are so afraid of being politically correct, saying the right thing or acting fairly to people in every race, religion and socio-economic status, I now have a heightened awareness as to why children such as our Seraphina are treated differently. Its education.

Years ago, people treated others with different values, differently. They treated others of another race, differently and those who struggled socially were treated differently. Our society, sometimes with just one strong voice worked to create a society that is more accepting and understanding. NO, I am not talking politically, I am speaking about individually. It has taken years and it has taken money. It has taken education and still there are people who don't get it or they choose not to accept it.

In times past, children like Seraphina were placed in residential centers. These children were cared for by some educationally savvy people as well as some minimally paid wage earners who would take care of their physical needs. As the population of children have grown and our understanding of developmental disabilities changes our society changes as well.

This summer it was blatantly displayed in our own family when a local cashier commented on Serahpina and her behavior at the store asking if she needed medical help? She does. She is under the care of a Developmental Pediatrician and also gets services through the multiply disabled classroom at school. She has occupational therapy, she has speech therapy, she is being evaluated for physical therapy and I am doing as much as I can to educate myself on ABA therapy so I can help advance her. Still, with all those services and therapies (that are not covered by our insurance), Seraphina may be volatile at any time. I highlight those moments on my Facebook page Messy Blessy Momma. Seraphina is also very loving, kind and intelligent. I focus on those moments too. I have learned to laugh in the face of this challenge because having a sense of humor is key.

I am not angry at this woman in the video who took the microphone away. I am sad. She was scared because she knew not what the child might say and allowing him to try and share his mind is scary for her. I am not angry with the parents who chuckled in the background because they were uncomfortable. They did not know how to feel.

Today, 1 in 64 children are being diagnosed with Autism and while I am not scientifically motivated I am motivated to help Seraphina and other children like her. I can do this through education. I can do this through sharing our story. I can do this letting others see what we go through.

As a parent, its hard enough to include your children's typical friends but friends, we are raising tomorrow. Do we want tomorrow to fall in a stagnant place where we allow others to treat each other with unkind words and actions or do we want to give our children the best opportunity to be compassionate and understanding? For me, its compassionate and understanding. I was drafted into this parenting of a disabled child. I wouldn't have chosen it but I have learned so much already and I am willing to help you learn too.

Forgive this woman. Forgive the parents in the audience and begin changing tomorrow with your family. If you ever want to know how to do it with simple steps, reach out...I am here and open and honest. Lets choose to educate ourselves so that these videos don't happen in the future.

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