Let'sTalk About It: Special Needs

If you have arrived here because you have a child or family member or good friend with special needs, welcome!  I created The Fragile X Files for a couple of reasons:

1.  It's important to me that the world understand my boys and accept them.  When I grew up, the special needs kids were segregated from us -- we rarely saw or heard from them.  That's not the case in public schools today.  The kids with special needs are integrated into regular classrooms as much as possible, depending on their particular disabilities.  It's called "least restrictive environment (LRE)."  All our kids have the right to an education in the LRE.

Equally important, all the "typical" kids have the right, and indeed the need, to see, hear, and experience their special needs classmates.  Whether you are comfortable with them or not, they are here to stay.  They are part of our world and they aren't growing up in a different classroom anymore, so kids are going to know them and how to behave around them much more.  This works both ways -- the disabled children will learn how to be around "typical" kids, as well.  See, it's a win, win!

2.  I know how it is when you don't have children with special needs, or maybe don't have children at all.  I was there, once.  I want to make the pathway toward learning how to embrace people with disabilities, and integrate them into regular society a clear, comfortable one for everyone.  I know that a lot of the time, the reasons for prejudice come from just not knowing how to deal with the unfamiliar.  I never talked to or dealt with people with disabilities because they made me uncomfortable; I had no experience in associating with them.  I didn't want to ignore them.  I just had no idea whether I could, or should, talk to them.  I want to make that easier for people.  You can talk to my sons -- just watch what I do, and do what I do.

The special needs community grows every year; who knows why, (there are dozens of theories) but there's no denying that more and more people who don't fit the "typical" and "normal" mold are turning up in schools and communities all over the world.  They are here to stay.  Hopefully by reading about our experiences here and getting to know us, you'll be more prepared to smile at, talk to, and just acknowledge people who have disabilities when you see them about and about.  They don't want to feel excluded.  They don't know how to talk to you, either.  Let's build a bridge between us and all live together without fear or anxiety.

1 comment:

Sucheta Potnis said...


I came across your blog as I was researching Fragile X as a family member may have it. He is an adult but has never been tested (we live in India, where the awareness is rather delayed!).

I found your blogs tremendously helpful and love how you write them without any self-pity. You have a lovely family and your kids are lucky to have you, and vice versa.

I hope all the three children do well.

Thanks for the blogs and take care, yourself!


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