A certain river in Egypt seems to be popular with other well-meaning, well-educated parents of children who have challenges.
And that river is “Da Nile.”
I understand. We all want our kids to have every opportunity possible. We don’t want them to be pigeonholed. I don’t want them labeled.
But guess what? If your kid can’t talk or can’t read, they ARE being labeled. Reality is reality, but it is possible to progress from there.
I remember reading about Itzhak Perlam, a violinist who used crutches, talking about how people are afraid of disability. “People don’t like to look trouble in the eye. It’s not pretty, but it’s human.”
So look it in the eye. Look it in the eye and deal with it. It’s not the 1950’s anymore. Kids with disabilities have futures. Special education is not a life sentence, not in the least. We need to get our kids the help they need, so that they can move on.
I’ve sat in college classes with students who had learning disabilities, autism, and cognitive impairment. What really holds kids back is not being allowed to get the help that they need.
So, we’re coming up on a year since I signed that line on page 17. I gave consent for my daughter to begin receiving special education services. Since I looked trouble in the eye, she has begun to follow conversations, to follow multi-step directions, to jump, to pedal a bicycle, and to initiate interactions with her peers. When I meet with her team once again to discuss the upcoming year (we’re doing another year of preschool), I expect to hear even more positives.
“Labeling” my daughter is the best thing I could have possibly done for her.