A Little Taste of “CHUTZPAH, WISDOM, and WINE”
Updated: Oct 14, 2020
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
Viktor Frankl Having a child with special needs invariably prompts people to say the most irritating things to you in an ironic attempt to bring comfort.
“God chooses special parents for special children.” “You must be so strong.” “She doesn’t look like she has Down syndrome.” “Down’s kids are always so happy!” “God only gives you what you can cope with.” “Why didn’t you find out before she was born so you could do something about it?”
Some statements are outright disgusting, but I do realize that most people are well meaning. I usually bite my tongue, but sometimes I respond (because I can’t help it): “How do you feel that God apparently does not consider you strong – or special – because He did not give you a child with special needs?”
I once commented to someone that I could not understand why people abort babies with Down syndrome. The person, who totally missed the point, responded, “Well, at least Caila’s high functioning.”
After all the inappropriate comments we encountered after Caila’s birth and the ongoing battles we had for Caila’s acceptance in several different settings, we were a bit…frustrated to say the least. So much so that Gavin wanted to print a T-shirt that would make a statement: “I have an extra copy of chromosome 21 as a reason for my cognitive challenges. What’s your excuse?” We would all wear these shirts with pride as a family hopefully bringing truth and clarity to the world and a heavy dose of sarcasm for people that just don’t get it.
I stumbled upon a quote that aptly sums up how I feel about us parents of children with disabilities: “You never know how strong you are until strong is your only option".