Originally Sent: 11/14/2013
November 14, 2013
Join 20,000 others...
The HSLDA Curriculum Market is buzzing with activity! Save money on new and used homeschooling materials, or sell your extras.
By Bev Linder
If you are a parent, caregiver, or ministry leader of kids with special needs, you realize that they have many, and varied, needs that are special. The word “special” could be replaced with the word “unique,” for these kids have some needs that other kids don’t have.
Kids with autism have, to name one, needs to be protected from over-stimulation and yet to be challenged to overcome some of their over-sensitivities.
Kids who have a physical disability have a need for assistance in nearly every endeavor they attempt in life. Individuals with cognitive or learning disabilities possess unique needs to be helped to learn, understand, and function at their own pace, in their own way. These all are “special needs.”
But having been a mom of special kids for 25 years, I’m convinced that all of these kids have much more un-special needs than they do special needs. What do I mean by that? Well, you could define un-special needs as needs that all young people have without exception, common needs, simply by virtue of being human and made in the image of God.
I am afraid that sometimes in our attempt to help and to love these special kids, we put way too much emphasis on their special needs, and not nearly enough attention on their un-special or common needs.
So what are these needs? Here’s a little sketch (oh no, I’m going to draw again!) of an “orb” of needs that all kids have. They include loving discipline, unconditional love, loving parents, a sense of belonging, a sense of purpose, and personal faith.
Some of these needs can be overlooked in the special child, such as, for example, the need to give to others, or the need to know that mom and dad love each other. We may mistakenly come to think that the child is better off when the world revolves around meeting his special needs. Or we may forget that no matter how much a mom loves her special child, it’s just as important to that child that mom loves the child’s dad (and that the dad loves mom) in a practical way. (Even in the case of divorce, the child needs to hear parents speak in a positive way of each other.)
I’m sure you could add your contributions to the “orb” for there are hundreds of needs that every child whom God has created has in order to be healthy on the inside. But this simple list is a start, something to ponder, and to realize that these un-special needs in your special child are foundational to his or her happiness and success in life.
It’s an interesting thing … when we work more on the un-special needs in our kids, the needs that they have that are unique tend to improve without a huge amount of effort on the part of the parent. How well I know that the anxiety of wondering what will become of our children can be overwhelming and can cause us to be fixated on the problems. But seek God’s help to let go of the “anx” and to speak soothing, life-giving words to your child. Proverbs 15:4 says, “A soothing tongue is a tree of life.” How our kids need soothing words coming from a parent who is not anxious about their condition!
One of the greatest needs that a special needs child has is for others to forget about their special needs once in a while, long enough to focus on their humanness, on the person they are deep in their soul, and to treat them with the same respect as other young people. That respect involves holding them accountable to become all that God created them to be as well as being an example to them of what it looks like to have an active faith in the living God. These are un-special needs, and the most important needs to meet.
“Homeschooling a Struggling Learner” is a newsletter of the Home School Legal Defense Association. All rights reserved. For more information on Homeschooling a Struggling Learner or the Home School Legal Defense Association please contact us at:
HSLDA • P.O. Box 3000 • Purcellville, Virginia 20134-9000
Subscription Information: You subscribed to the “Homeschooling a Struggling Learner” email as:
POSTMASTERS: This message is being sent to the most recent address we have for our subscribers. If this is an invalid email address or you have other problems, please reply to email@example.com.
DISCLAIMER: This is considered a private and confidential message from HSLDA to its bonafide HSLDA E-lert Service subscribers. HSLDA cannot attest to the authenticity of copies posted, forwarded, or sent by any party other than HSLDA.
ADVERTISING WITH US: The appearance of advertisements in the Homeschooling thru High School newsletter does not imply recommendation or endorsement by Home School Legal Defense Association, and the opinions expressed by advertisers do not necessarily reflect the views of HSLDA. Use of any information, product, or service herein advertised is voluntary, and reliance upon it should only be undertaken after independent review. Caveat emptor—let the buyer beware.
NOTE: Please do not reply or otherwise use this email address; firstname.lastname@example.org is for broadcast purposes only and is not intended to receive incoming messages. We cannot reply to any email sent to this address. If you have comments or questions, please send email to email@example.com or call HSLDA at 540-338-5600. HSLDA members can also email staff directly through the Members website at http://members.hslda.org/contact.asp. Thank you for your cooperation.© 2014 HSLDA. All rights reserved.