As a parent of a child who has special needs, you have probably received countless sympathetic looks from bystanders. Those who lack experience interacting with people with disabilities often think about everything a person “cannot” do.
However, despite your child’s challenges, you understand his or her unique gifts. With the support of your local school district, strengthening your child’s abilities can help position your son or daughter for a bright future.
People with disabilities can triumph over limitations to achieve success
Many people with disabilities have made a name for themselves. Rather than labeling your child according to their inabilities, you can use their unique interests and desires to their advantage.
Greta Thunberg was recognized as Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2019. A diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) did not prevent the teen from delivering powerful speeches about climate change around the globe. Instead, she relates her autism to a “superpower.”
Thunberg was not the only one who rose above her disability to make an impact during the year. Others whose “firsts” made history include:
- Daniel Romanchuk. The wheelchair racer took first place in the New York City Marathon for the second time this year. His other wins include the London and Boston Marathons.
- Daisy-May Demetre. The nine-year-old who had both legs amputated when she was a baby walked the runway during the New York Fashion Week.
- Ali Stroker. The Broadway actress accepted a Tony Award in a wheelchair. During her acceptance speech, Stroker acknowledged children with a disability, who have been longing to see someone with a disability take home a trophy.
Your children might take encouragement from these people’s accomplishments. However, individuals are not the only ones making headlines in inclusion.
Companies creating inclusive options
Every child develops, in part, through play and sensory experiences. As society’s recognition of equal rights for people with disabilities increases, so do opportunities and advancements in inclusivity. For example:
- Target introduced adaptable Halloween costumes..
- Lego began using AI technology to provide audio and braille instructions.
- We Walk created a Bluetooth-equipped walking stick for people with visual impairment.
- A U.S. District Court ruled that retailers must make their online services accessible.
- Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore began providing track chairs for more rugged terrain.
As you collaborate with local educators to provide the best supports for your child, remember that working to his or her strengths can set the stage for success.
Your son or daughter may not go on to win entertainment awards or gain international fame. However, through proper supports adapted explicitly for your child’s needs, you can improve their chance of reaching their full potential.