Google Alert on “Down syndrome” yesterday included a blog by a woman who went to a “Rascal Flatts” concert. (I had never heard of this group, just shows how much this all interests me...) Anyway, for the song “Wish”, they sang it to a girl with Down syndrome.
So..... I looked up the song on You Tube to see what it was, and it fits so well! Just as it fits ANYONE, it fits so well my wishes for Ricki. So I have posted here one version from You Tube (ie, not my video, and not exactly as I would like it). I wish I had time to make my own (and the legal copyright to do so...).
Ricki, this is my wish for you....
And I would like to add the following, which I had been saving for a separate post, but it's related....
“Special needs are typical needs”
This is a quote from Dave Hinsburger, which I noted down several months ago.
Now obviously, people with special needs have the need for services that the “regular” population does not. So what is being said here?
The point here is that underneath it all, the person with the intellectual disability needs love, recognition, dignity, and a measure of independence no less than the rest of us.
Now this is easy to say, and sometimes hard to actually do. Those of us who are caregivers and parents, have expectations, desires, and feelings about how things need to be done. L-rd, I would change some of my “normal” teens if I could. So when we are in a state of clash with a special-needs person, the temptation to force our opinion on them is very easy to arrive at. Because of their dependence on us, it is oh so easy to pressure the special-needs person to conform to what we want. [Now when they are children, we need to do this at times, as we do with any child, but as a child gets older he will hopefully eventually feel confident enough to view himself as a separate entity from his parents.]
The challenge is to allow the “special-needs” teen/adult to grow, mature, and sometimes make mistakes, just like any other teen/adult. We can try and explain to them the choice they are making, as they may not understand the full implications. We need to give them the tools to make good choices. And that can only be done if we occasionally allow choices. And if we sometimes let them do their “own thing”, I suspect that they will be MORE receptive to our input If they see that we are not trying to control them constantly, our protestations that something is bad for them may be viewed as less of a challenge to their independence.
So to all you mothers with younger special-needs children (and even “normal” ones), give your child choices. Which books does he want to take out at the library, which of two shirts to wear, do you want to take a bath now or in 15 minutes, etc., etc. And to those of us with older kids... hold tight to your desires and dreams. You’d be surprised how much your kids agree with you if you let them try their wings out. As my mom used to say’ “When the little birds fly from the nest, they don’t fall so far away....”