Kurt Cobain has put it so well, in a few words…he has summed up the attitude of a “Special Child”…isn’t this a major cause of concern for the parents ? Why do they have to be treated differently and not be integrated in the society???? I think the saying here reflects the subdued emotions of a specially abled person. He doesn’t care what the world thinks about him…he lives life on his own terms. When he is ready to make an effort to survive and lead an accomplished life…with pride…why can’t we support??? Is he asking for too much?

The moment a child is born, we all pray that it is a healthy baby…but prayers of not all parents are answered…so God sends them someone he loves and needs to be taken special care of….like Anoushka was sent to us on 11th Oct 2003. She was diagnosed with Down Syndrome at birth. From there starts the struggle and concerns of parents like us more so because of lack of awareness, understanding and acceptance. The moment we as parents accept our child with the shortcomings, half the battle is won.Only then can you find appropriate ways to help your child .But sadly, lots of parents live in a state of denial or are embarrassed about their standing in the society, this only hampers the growth and progress of a child.

Major concerns of most parents is support…support from the respective spouses,families, relatives, education system and from society as a whole. The moment they are assured of the support system, it is easier to deal with the child and provide assistance required by the child. These children are very sensitive.When they sense that all who matter to them are there to render support they require, they gain confidence in self and accomplish even the most difficult of tasks.

A child’s achievement is the success story of the parents. They gave him the confidence he needed and stood by him…motivating him that yes!! he could do it and what followed was success. The strength of these children is their “never give up attitude”. They are ready to walk that extra mile to achieve their targets….The willingness to fight and determination is very strong in them. These are not inherited, these are imbibed. This is the responsibility of a parent. 

It’s a difficult journey for the parents, full of apprehensions and roadblocks. ..tendency to feel lonely and isolated is natural. Right guidance and a little empathy from the society sure helps to heal. There may be constraints….limited resources, monetary concerns,  milestone delays, only early and appropriate interventions are the key to success of the parents as well as the child. I read the following lines somewhere and it sure helps to follow this. “Early intervention is the key. The earlier you catch a child, the easier it is to help the child…if you let it go too long, it just takes that much longer for the child to gain ground.”It is never too late to start, just never give up. The child responds to each of their parents thoughts, positive and negative accordingly.

Another major concern of the parents is “Behavior” of the child, specially in public places. Parents are concerned about the reaction of the child in various surroundings and whether he will be able to cope. It isn’t easy to deal with a child with special needs so it has to be ensured that people around are conscious and sensitive to the needs of the child. Once the child feels at ease, his “Behavior” also would be normal. If he is ridiculed and made fun of or pointed fingers at, it makes him conscious and uncomfortable and the behavior goes haywire. It is the duty of every individual to protect the child in every which way possible .

All I feel is we must not be judgmental. A little empathy, understanding and support can sure work magic, not only for the child but also the parents of these children. They should share their concerns with the therapists, friends and anyone who can help….reaching out to the right sources surely works wonders.  

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