A place to show my love for my granddaughter who lives with Cerebral Palsy and my passion for painting. In an effort of raising awareness for C.P. every painting brush stroke I make on raw canvas is a stroke of love, as I discretely paint a green C.P. awareness ribbon in every piece. Can you find them?
Do you know someone who would like to have a painting done? email www.harrold.janet@gmail.com

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Appropriate words can be as simple as hello or good morning

My previous post was a reminder of words that may be viewed as inappropriate to someone who has special needs. One of my loyal readers asked me to do a follow up and mention a few things that would be appropriate words to say. I always try to keep in mind that some people are a bit more sensitive than others, but in my opinion if we just remember these three things kindness, compassion and a welcoming smile, the rest will fall into place. I totally understand that it is difficult to know what to say or how to act around people of different abilities, but please try and overcome this. A very simple thing to say is... “Hello” or “good morning”. Just the same thing that you would say to anyone else. Hailey is considered non verbal, she is certainly not non-vocal. It is always appropriate to speak to her directly, even if her response is not one that you understand, that is o.k. she is in the room, lets include her. My mom loved Hailey so much, but had no idea how to talk with her initially (miss you mom :( When she was at the house, she would look at me and say “how’s Hailey” while Hailey was right beside me, I constantly said, she’s right there mom, ask her. Now, that didn’t make my mom a bad person, she just needed a little help in understanding how to talk to her and when she finally understood, she would ask to speak to her on the phone every time she called. I would assure my mother that Hailey was smiling in acknowledgement of hearing her voice, and that made us all happy.
The same principles that apply to typically developing children apply to children who have special needs -just at a different pace to match their learning abilities. It is o.k.and even welcomed to introduce your child to Hailey, or if you know us, ask to arrange a play date. Like other 4 year old girls Hailey loves to play, she enjoys other children, she loves dolls, and going in the swimming pool. She also has many things that she doesn’t like, she has good days and bad days. She has a beautiful smile that helps to define her character, her disability does not. ( But don’t let that smile fool ya) Her scream is probably louder and more demanding than anyone I know, her emotions can go from one extreme to the next at the drop of a dime. Her frustration level sometimes seams higher than the tallest mountain. Her personality is her own.
Hopefully this has helped you to interact with people who’s needs may be different than yours. I hope I opened your eyes, your mind and your heart. Hailey has certainly done that for me.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Janet. That was very helpful. I'll keep your advice in mind.