Recently, one of my children was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome. I couldn’t help but get the flash in my head that some of you may have right now….a kid screaming nasty words and slurs in public. The media has indeed sensationalized this small portion of Tourettes. In fact, according to the Tourette Syndrome Association, only 15% of people with TS exhibit this symptom. With that being said, the judgement of my son immediately began. One person very close to me said, “Great, well this means he will never get married!” Another remarked that it’s good that we have a big home because it’s very likely that he will be living with us for his entire life. REALLY?!?!?!?!
I have never been a judgemental person. I teach my children to accept everyone as they are. God created everyone to be wonderful and He doesn’t make mistakes. My husband and I try not to make derogatory statements in front of our kids. Sure, we are not perfect but sincerely strive to teach our kids that bullying others or making judgements about others is not OK. Some kids have obvious differences, such as my son. He has a feeding tube and has frequent involuntary eye and body movements. My good friend’s son has one arm. Another friend’s son has Down’s Syndrome. These children have SO much to offer those who get to know them- those who dare to see beyond the physical. My son is the sweetest child that I have met. When he sees someone crying, he immediately tries to console them. He is smart and loving. He is good at things that interest him. He WILL change the world someday, and has already changed the lives of those who see beyond the things which make him “different” than themselves.
What about you? What makes you different than others? What do you do when you see someone different that you are? Do you judge? Do you make comments that may cause pain to others? Are you aware that variety is the spice of life? I encourage you to look at your reactions to others, to look at your children’s reactions to others. What gives any of us the right to say negative things about others out loud or to their face? You don’t have the right to tell someone that their child will NEVER do ANYTHING. The fact is, you should not say anything to any mother bear like me who will stop at nothing to ensure that my children have every chance to do what they dare to dream!
Please leave a comment to give me your thoughts….positive or negative….
By- Cara Koscinki MOT, OTR/L
Author of The Pocket Occupational Therapist- a handbook for caregivers of children with special needs. Questions and answers most frequently asked to OTs with easy to understand answers and fun activities you can do with your child. Order anywhere books are sold. www.pocketot.com