What’s The Point? Find Out Who Dared To Ask This Question About Educating A Child With Special Needs!
If you live or work with a child who has special needs, there are some “safe zones” where everyone in your world understands.
Your zone people “get it” and you work together for the good of your child/student. You don’t have to explain yourself, there’s sympathy about how hard it is. There is that basic understanding that no matter what happens, you will just keep going.
You search for better ways to do something, finding the newest, latest strategy and technique to achieve the best possible outcome for that child you love. That safe zone could be made up of two people or it could be 52 people.
There is no judgment, no criticism, just pure camaraderie.
Whenever I’m in that zone, I’m just a bit taken back when I encounter someone who infiltrates this space and asks a question like, “What’s the point?”
This is exactly what happened recently to me.
I’m in the business of educating people in the world of special education, so when I’ve just finished a whole day of enlightening a group of people, I typically get those “aha, now I understand” moments. Not this time.
I got something different.
Actually, this isn’t the first time, and I am sure it won’t be the last time someone surprises me with an unenlightened question. It just catches you off guard, that’s all.
I follow several groups on Facebook just to see what issues come up. Sometimes I add my thoughts.
Three weeks ago I read a post about a woman whose mother-in-law called right before the holidays and offered to pay for Christmas dinner so that she, her son and their child with autism would stay home rather than join in with her and others at a large family gathering.
In other words, this was mother-in-law’s way of keeping this problem child away from the rest of the family so everyone could have a good time!!!
My heart went out to this daughter-in-law. She was devastated. I think she thought that at least her mother-in-law was part of her safe zone. When she found out that her child’s grandmother was not part of her support team, she was crushed and angry. I can only imagine!
If you only had the right words at the right time to say to these people who don’t get it. Right? Luckily, I’ve had more than one opportunity to practice what I want to say to people who are uneducated and in need of an attitude shift.
Take a look at my video and you can see how I handled my safe zone crasher!
Now that you’ve seen how I’ve handled this, I’d recommend that you come up with three or four responses that you can use if something like this happens to you. Here’s a couple of responses to get you started thinking:
- I’ve got the latest research on that if you’d like to see it.
- Josh does great in groups with the right supports and loving people, I’ve got a video, would you like to see?
- I work with a lady who has a grandchild with autism and has taken steps to make sure everyone has a great time during family events. Can I put you in contact with her?
If you practice, you’ll be ready for your zone crasher and won’t bemoan a lame response later. Be classy. Be kind. The zone crasher is just uninformed.
It’s that time of year again for those of you who are in Central Indiana and working with children with autism! Answers for Autism gives thousands of dollars away in the form of grants to those people who need materials for their students. Go online to Answers for Autism and click on Grants. It’s a two- page application. Tell them what you need and describe how these materials will help your students. Last year one of my teachers won $3,000 for her classroom. Another teacher that I know who applied for this grant also got it!
Do it! Deadline is March 15, 2014. Let me know if you are successful.
Take care and I’ll see you next time!