Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Is he special?

This is the question that I was asked this morning at the zoo and to be completely honest, it threw me for a loop.  I was actually speechless for a good 15 seconds before answering her question.  This lady was a complete stranger to me and I really hadn't even noticed her and her son.  She stopped me as I was leaving my favorite habitat and I was totally absorbed in the moment.  Now, I'm still a little upset because I just don't know where or what she thought she saw to ask this question but she stops me and says "is he special or something?"

She says to me, "well, I know how he was jerking his head and is irritable" and quite honestly, Coop was just sitting in his stroller and was wanting to get out to walk around but I was a little tired from chasing after him.  She then says "my son has mental issues, too".  Listen, my son doesn't have mental issues, he has a speech disorder!  He doesn't sound like other kids when he talks and I know this but I don't treat him like he's "special".  I want him to just fit in and blend in with other kids so I don't even adhere to labeling him.  Cooper has zero behavioral concerns that aren't age related.  Does he throw tantrums, well, of course, he's 2! 

I'm just so upset and it has nothing to do with his challenges.  I love him and he is special but not in her definition.  I'm upset because at the tender age of 2, the world is trying to pigeon hole him as someone that is not as capable/adequate as other normally developing children. 

I'm sure most will read this post and not even understand wth I'm even upset and I guess you would have to walk this walk to get it...

I'm just having a moment where I'm realizing that I'm not as strong as I think I am and am taunted by this world and it's view that I'm going to have to fight to make sure that my son fits in...



  1. You are a great mom. Don't let anyone's opinions or personal prejudices change that. Hugs.

  2. Oh man, this just rubs me the wrong way. In one sense I can see the woman was trying to relate to you but on such a personal and delicate matter that she just fumbled it. I personally don't think this question should EVER be asked to someone you don't know and even then it needs to be handled delicately.
    As hard as it is, try to block out her ignorance and the fact that she thinks every child has a problem similar to hers, and focus on the good day you had at the zoo today! Then pour yourself a glass of wine and put up your feet. You are an amazing mom and Coop IS special :)
    I get asked this all the time with LBs glasses and/or her "excited dance" which she did majorly today at the museum. I got the pity smiles looks like crazy today and though it really bothered me (she WAS excited - just a little overly...) I had to remind myself that we all have our little quirks. I don't stare at the child that sucks her thumb or twirls her hair over and over. I've had people ask me if "something is wrong with her" before and that just irks me so much. Some people just don't THINK.

  3. Grrr...stupid lady.

    One of my kids tested "borderline" for ADHD. I was so terrified he was going to be labeled, so we decided to keep it a secret. He was (and still is) in speech therapy. We didn't want him to have another label or be treated any differently than the other kids. We didn't want his teachers thinking he couldn't excel. We found out later that it was a vision problem. Makes sense, right? I mean, if you're six years old and sitting at the back of the classroom and can't see what's going on, are you really going to just sit there and wait patiently?! I know I wouldn't!

    Sorry, that isn't the same as what you're going through with Cooper, but I get what you were feeling. Our kids are perfect just the way they are. Who cares if they have some obstacles to overcome? It will just make them stronger in the long run.

  4. Sorry that lady is an arse Jen! Kind of makes you wonder how she treats her own child. Hugs to you both!