Lisa Leonard Designs

see inside his heart.

October 1st | older posts

david-daddy.jpg

last week david’s teacher mentioned that some of the ‘typical’ kindergarten kids were making fun of his small hand. now, rationally, i know that even kids with 10 fingers get made fun of, but inside my heart was breaking. why do kids have to be mean? it all makes me want to hole up in the house and never leave. we could order pizza and shop online, right?! but i’m trying to be brave. i know that it’s good for david to be at school with his peers. and i know that his peers will learn and grow from him.

today as we were walking to the car, three little girls from his kindergarten class ran over to give him hugs and say good-bye. it made my heart happy and gave me a little more courage for tomorrow. this little boy has brought so much joy into our lives and little by little, they’ll begin to see him, too. see past his small hand and see inside his heart.

73 Responses

  1. Kris says:

    Your post made me cry! Why do children have to be cruel to each other? David is a blessing and you bless us with your stories and thoughts. Thank you!

  2. sarah says:

    he’ll give them more than they’ll ever know. school is hard enough on a good day. hang in there. seems like he’s already blessed you with courage and lots of love.

  3. Paige says:

    Kids can be cruel. I know they will see past the small hand and get to know his big heart, as others have. Give it time. You are a great mother and David is such a great little boy!

  4. Noelle White says:

    Please also remember that David has a huge fan base….we all check in to see how he is doing and see his darling face. Now, how many little boys have that?

    Whenever I witness this kind of behavior from children whether against my own or others, I always remember what my Papa told me, “I am rubber, you are glue, what bounces of me, sticks on you”…I don’t know why but it helps.

    Sending you strength and smiles, Lisa.

  5. Theresa says:

    He is a cutie pie. I would offer to bring my Hope down because she loves sweet David’s pictures. She would come and take care of his tormenters for him. She would do it in a big girlfriend kind of way. :) She is 13.

    Be strong Mom. I know it is hard. They will learn and grow from his. He is a blessing to every life he enters.

  6. oh, lisa, that makes me so sad. the best we can do is to teach our own children to love everyone who is different. and if we look carefully, aren’t we all a little different?

  7. Sara says:

    Lisa,
    I know just how you feel…..I always hope Madeline is seen for her heart and not for her size (she has dwarfism). Right now in preschool she has a lot of friends, but I am holding my breath.

    I guess all we can do is raise our own kids to have kind hearts and hope there are others out there doing the same.

    I know some of the comments I hear hurt me more than they do Madeline just yet. I feel for you. I am glad the hugging girls gave you encouragement.

    Sara

  8. kathryn says:

    My child is “whole” – however, she is adopted. Not only are children mean – so are their parents. These children learned to discriminate against those who came into their families differently than they did. Knowing people do not always understand or do not always “intend” to be mean, doesn’t always comfort my heart. Tears came to my eyes, reading your blog. I know our children have a more difficult path,but the assurance is God is in it – all of this. Our daughter has taught me more than I would ever have dreamed about living in this sometimes mean world. She has this heart, this incredible grace – that comes straight from the hand of God – in spite of the meanness she’s encountered many times, she choses the ‘high road’. May you feel God’s touch always, especially on those challenging days.

  9. Caroline says:

    Mommy hugs for you today Lisa. It is so hard to get feedback that children, let alone anyone for that matter, is making fun of your child when they are special. My hope and prayer is that those people will learn more about love from being acquainted with our children.

  10. Susan says:

    Lisa:
    Your post brought tears to my eyes. Children and sometimes adults too are so cruel. My grandson (3) started preschool recently – and other children started bullying him. We were lucky – my daughter called the teacher and she said it would not be tolerated. Things have been better. As parents/grandparents (seems no different), we just want to protect our little ones. Hang in there. David sounds like such a little sweetheart and I am praying that these kids learn from him.
    Hugs,
    Susan

  11. chrissie says:

    I’m crying right now and the girls keep asking me what’s wrong. So I explained to them about some kids being unkind to David.

    They’re pissed and they’re coming over to take care of those kids.

    :) I love you, sis. I love, David. We are all so hopelessly broken, except for the grace of God.

    David’s beautiful hand is my reminder of God’s Grace.

  12. Cathy Spock says:

    Oh Lisa,
    My heart goes out to you. Whenever I hear something like this with my daughters, I try to remind them (and myself) something I learned from a book on bullying I once read. It was, “When someone makes fun of you, it is NEVER ABOUT YOU, it is always about THEM.” I was already 40 years old when I read this comment, but it really resonated with me…and with the little girl inside me who had been teased a lot as a child. No one had ever told me that; and I had never realized it myself. But it is so true. I will say a prayer for that child who chose to tease your sweet David… they need them. God bless you… Cathy

  13. Jodi says:

    Kids can be cruel sometimes. *hugs* David is a sweet boy, and his classmates will soon realize that.

  14. beth cochran says:

    Hi Lisa,
    It is so hard when our kids who have an obvious difference are singled out, especially when if feels mean and attacking. Those girls who ran over and hugged him this morning obviously made your day and I am thankful for them. There are generally more accepting people than not, and it takes those few difficult situations for us to get defensive and want to crawl into that hole that you are talking about. Stay positive and strong. We get our mommy hackles up and we feel nasty sometimes too, that is how we protect our precious fragile ones. Your behavior has modeled to others that differences are what makes us all beautiful, especially for those who have more obvious differences. You are teaching so many about acceptance, thank you!! Those kids will learn fast that David is NOT what they think and soon realize how COOL he really is!
    hugs to you today,
    beth in colorado

  15. misty says:

    i too am in tears over this. he is a beautiful boy and hopefully one day those kiddos will realize as we all have what a precious gift our children are to the world. my heart is breaking for you..it is so hard to hear that someone is being mean to ANY child, but with our kiddos it is even more heartbreaking because of their innocense.

    hugs to you and david and those sweet little girls who gave him a hug after school.. i’m sure they had no idea what that would mean to you at that moment.

  16. Now, I’m crying… David is gorgeous and a blessing to all of us! You are the Mommy that God has given David to make sure the world see him for the beauty that he is and to advocate for him! You do great!

    And Chrissy! What better family and cousins for your boys! God Bless!

  17. Darci says:

    I am so sorry, I know where you are coming from as my son has Sensopry processing Disorder and is developmentally delayed as well. Peoples comments, stares whether they are big or small do hurt indeed :(

    As parents we want to 100% protect our babes from the comments and looks. Sadly there is always going to be a few out there that just don’t get it. Hang in there and stand proud.

  18. Denissa says:

    Lisa,
    I’m so sorry, my heart breaks for you and sweet David. It is so hard to deal with kids being so cruel. Hang in there and I’ll be praying for you guys! The adorable pictures brought tears to my eyes before I even read the post!

  19. Jennifer Fast says:

    Hey Lisa,
    Just keep having that attitude and you will all be just fine! Not only is it great for David to get out and socialize, it is amazing how quickly his new friends in school will adjust! I remember when Amanda started going to school it was a little distracting, but then after awhile they didn’t even notice her in the same room. One little boy went home after school and said to his Mom, “Mom, we have a little girl in our class, and she’s kneecapped”. So it just goes to show you how quickly they handle things. And…..it will make David stronger, and you, and you will develop such a thick skin, that you won’t even notice the stares after awhile, and you honestly won’t care. Tare care!

  20. Irene says:

    Tears are running down my face. You are such a brave mom. I know it hurts when others are mean to your baby, it probably hurts more than it would if you were the one in pain. You will both continue to be in my prayers. Stay strong.

  21. Jenny Maddox says:

    Such sweet pictures and such a sweet little boy. I draw so much inspiration from you and your beautiful family!

  22. wendy says:

    Hang in there Lisa! It’s hard to imagine someone not loving your kids as much as you do… If David is aware of what’s going on, the best thing you can do is just keep on loving him and making him realize how special he is and it’s better to be different then to be like everyone else. It just makes him that much more special in everyone’s eyes! Good luck to you!

  23. Karyn says:

    Lisa,
    Your post gave me goosebumps. What a great feeling to see one of your children being loved on by his peers – and even better after the teasing story. I’m happy that both you and David got to have that experience. I’m sure there will be more.

  24. Karyn says:

    Oh, and I meant to comment on the pictures. Wonderful! You can definitely see inside his heart.

  25. Jen says:

    I love your blog.

    You are so lucky to have David in your life and he is so lucky to have you. Give that guy a big hug and feel his love!

    Your pictures always bring a smile to my face.

  26. Tania says:

    I wonder if there’s any kind os explanation for that behavior while we’re kids… Maybe there’s a way to avoid that you know… Of course it starts at home with mom and dad but kids do have their own agenda and personality… I feel sad for you and David but those little girls were the proof that kids aren’t all mean. Who cares about a little hand… That huge smile says it all :)

  27. Shannon says:

    I see his heart – and I see yours! I’m blessed by both………

  28. Hi Lisa — Just wanted to drop a note of encouragement. It will be hard, I can imagine, as you introduce David to the “real” world where people can only see how he is different. But as they grow to know the real him, they will see what you do.

    I went to college with Joel Sonnenberg (http://www.joelsonnenberg.com) Here was a young man who was affected with horrible tragedy and yet his life has proved to be an example of God’s goodness. I am sure that we all stared at first — but what I remember much more is watching him for four years and being so impressed with who he was and the gifts and opportunities that had been brought his way because of his circumstances. I watched him carry his cafeteria tray with one missing hand, saw his peers elect him student body president, and have since seen him go on to accomplish great things all over the world.

    David is in God’s heart and God’s plan. And you get to be his mom!

  29. Wendy says:

    Your post brought tears to my eyes. I wish we all could see past the exterior to what lies within. The world would truly be a better place. Beautiful photos of David and his Daddy.

  30. Tammy says:

    You are a very blessed lady… What a treasure to be entrusted with…

  31. Kari says:

    AMEN…couldn’t agree with you more!! My daughter started kindergarten this year, I dread the day she comes home and is sad because kids laughed at her prosthetic leg. Be strong, for your strong boy!! He is a treasure!

  32. Teri says:

    What wonderful pics. David is bringing lessons to so many people all around the world. Some will learn what he has to teach and some won’t. We mamas sure do want to protect our babies on their journey. Hang in there.

  33. Laura says:

    Ditto, I know the feeling when some children were cruel to other kids. I always reminded myself, “They are simply jealous because they do see the child like David has lots of attention and love while they may not have much attention at home. They are boosting their egos by hurting others, and they are the ones who are hurt.”

    I would say to you: just remain positive for David. You are his role model, not the kids.

  34. Carolyn says:

    I have a huge lump in my throat and began crying when I read your post. The pictures of David always make me so happy. Thank you for sharing him with us. He truly is a light! How dare kids be so unkind. I just pray my kids protect and embrace differences. Hang in there even when you want to hole up! Hugs!

    I love the pictures of David and your husband!

  35. Heather says:

    Hang in there Lis! Kids are even more cruel today then when we were little! But you know what, David is amazing and he has accomplished so much more than the doctors ever originally thought. They may make fun of his differences at first, but his smile and his loving attitude will change them! :)
    Love you!!!!

  36. Heidi says:

    Both my daughters have a boy in their clas who needs special care. They are brothers wih both the same syndrome. The have bad seight and speak and hearing problems. They follow a special program on our regulair school. Both boys are very loved n school and very accepted. Like all the other children they are made fun of some times. Al the children in school dont know better than that the boys are like that. I think it enriches the education of al children to learn together. It’s true what you say they all learn from eachother. Although your motherhart wants to protect, i think you made the best choice for David and the children in his class. Sorry for my English. Namaste Heidi

  37. Ginny says:

    When my daughter was young, she had a large birthmark that covered her entire forearm. I always felt bad about it, as she would get looks and/or comments from others. However, my attitude changed completely one day when she mentioned something about her ‘pretty’ arm. I absolutely melted over her unique point of view! Maybe David’s small hand is special to him also :-)

  38. Karen Lehmann says:

    Hi Lisa,
    I always think that children who are mean don’t have strong adults in their lives who have taught them kindness. How sad.
    Unfortunately, we will

  39. Karen Lehmann says:

    sorry – baby hit the keyboard –
    Unfortunately, we will all encounter these types of people our entire lives – so I encourage my kids to “kill them with kindness”
    I was glad to hear that some of the kids were sweet – I am sure, in time, David will be everyone’s favorite friend because he is raised by you, with a kind and gentle spirit, and they will surely see that.

  40. Emily Bold says:

    Hi Lisa,
    I have a friend Robin that found your blog through mine. She is going to (or did?) email you about her son Caleb (he went to heaven in June of this year). Every year when school would start up she would go to his class (he wasn’t there) and explain why Caleb looked different and was sick so much. This helped him SO much. I think when kids understand, they seem to be more compassionate. He made a ton of friends that were with him til the end.
    If you haven’t heard from her, email me and I will get you her email address. She has an amazing story.

  41. Claudia says:

    Looks like David has a great dad! He’ll be able to overcome many obstacles with support from his family.

  42. I just wanted to share a prayer with you that helps me through those times when I just want to shut out the rest of the world and completely protect my family…
    ~Prayer for My Child~
    I come to You in Jesus name and give (name of
    child) to You. I’m convinced that You alone
    know what is best for him/her. You alone know
    what he/she needs. I release him/her to You
    to care for and protect, and I commit myself to
    pray for everything concerning him/her that I
    can think of or that You put upon my heart.
    Teach me how to pray and guide me in what to
    pray about. Help me not to impose my own will
    when I’m praying for him/her, but rather
    enable me to pray that Your will be done in
    his/her life.
    Thank You that I can partner with You in raising
    him/her and that I don’t have to rely on the
    world’s unreliable and ever-changing methods
    for child rearing, but that I can have clear
    directions from Your Word and wisdom as I pray
    to You for answers.
    Thank You, Lord, for the precious gift of this
    child. Because Your Word says that every good
    gift comes from You, I know that You have
    given him/her to me to care for and raise. Help
    me do that. Show me places where I continue
    to hang on to him/her and enable me to release
    him/her to Your protection, guidance, and
    counsel. Help me not to live in fear of possible
    dangers, but in the joy and peace of knowing
    that You are in control. I rely on You for
    everything, and this day I trust my child to You
    and release him/her into Your hands.
    ~By Stormie Omartian

    I hope you (and David) can feel the warmth of God’s love when there are incidents like the one about his hands, (as well as the loving actions those little girls were showing!) It seems like a blessing that his teacher has awareness of what kinds of things like that are happening, and I’m sure the way it is handled is as a great learning opportunity – what a blessing for those classmates to have David in their lives! I also wanted to comment once again that you are a GIFTED PHOTOGRAPHER! Beautiful father/son photos!!

  43. jamie says:

    Oh, Have I been in your Shoes before. Having two kids with Tics there have been comments made that would make me cry and angry at the same time. Kids can be Nasty to other kids regardless, It really hurts as a Mother. I know my Feathers get really get Ruffled when it comes to my kids and I go into Protection mode. Sometimes its hard to remember they are only kids. Ughh, Stay Strong, Jamie

  44. anne rays says:

    I love the firm grip on his daddy’s face, what’s better than that, nothing! Hang in there.

  45. Jennifer says:

    Why do you have a knack for making me cry? And what kind of massochist must I be to keep reading?! 😉

    Thank you for such honest glimpses into your lives.

  46. Rachelle says:

    Your son is so sweet. I can only imagine how scary it must be for you to send him off to school, to send any child off to school. It makes me happy that those sweet little girls ran up to hug him after school.

  47. April Z says:

    The pictures of David melt my heart. What a precious boy! He is truly blessed to have such wonderful parents. I’m sure that you would say that you are blessed to have such a wonderful son! My son has Aarskog syndrome and I often worry that he will be picked on too. I feel like the only thing I can do is give my worries over to God and pray for him every day. I really believe that God uses his children with disabilities to teach the rest of us about love!

  48. Whitney says:

    Love the new format – it looks great! Thoughtful post about David – thank you for opening yourself up about your struggles and JOYS. He is a blessed boy to have such caring parents.

  49. Kelly M says:

    Oh, I’ve known that feeling so many times… Wanting to curl up with my kids on the couch and just keep them from harm and pain. Every time I feel that way, I think that then they will never know the great joys and love that life has to offer either! Thank you for being so honest and sharing – you are such an inspiration!!

  50. gail k says:

    I say enlighten them….they will understand. Hang in there sweetie, hugs to you!

  51. Karen says:

    David is such a beautiful little guy. I wonder how his teacher handled the situation. I hope she was able to turn it into a learning experience for the “typical” kids. You are right; they can learn so much from him!

  52. Sharon says:

    Lisa,
    I am a teaching assistant who works with Special Needs, a lot with visible, physical needs and I sympathize with you. Our school works on Inclusion(intigration in the reg. classroom setting, instead of institutional type homes like years ago), and we treat all our students with love and respect and teach them that they are all equal even though some children have different needs. I find that the youngest children, (like the Kindergarten students), are very accepting. It is more a curiosity because they haven’t been taught this at home that not everyone is the same. I know that there may be some hurtful things said by some children but in general, most treat our students as an equal friend and classmate and miss him/her when they are not at school. Alot of times I find that adults will stare or say things that can be hurtful and children are more accepting. I think Inclusion of Special Needs students in our schools, makes children more compasionate or accepting human beings than the adults are. I feel for you and know that David will soon have many good and true friends. Hope things turn around for David soon.

    On another note, my family had purchased a necklace from you back in May for Mother’s Day, and I Love it(a little loop with my children and grandchildrens initials engraved on little cicles hung from it). :) Thank you Lisa, you are a beautiful artist and hope to order another necklace soon. I keep my eye on your website daily, you have a wonderful family and I enjoy your blog. I tried emailing you once before to thank you but for some reason it didn’t work.
    Sharon

  53. DeAnna says:

    I have been following your blog since July! I have even gone back and read the old posts. I love your little family! You are an inspiration to me in so many ways. I cried today reading this post and it makes me as a parent want to sit down with my children and educate them and teach them how painful it is to tease another child. Hang in there, you are an amazing Mother and David is so blessed to have you as his advocate, friend, and teacher!!

    DeAnna

  54. diane says:

    hi Lisa

    I would encourage you to talk with the teacher and see how she is handling things when the children tease David. It is her responsibility for what is happening in her class and she can set the tone and maintain her class as an accepting and NO teasing zone. It’s a big challenge to be the advocate for your child, but again I enourage you to challenge the teacher to take on that responsibility.
    blessings and strength
    diane

  55. Posey says:

    I lost your blog for a few days, (don’t ask), anyway after reading this post my heart actually broke. Seriously I have this pain in my stomach for you. It’s the hurt you feel that makes me feel bad. As a parent we want to protect our children not only physically but emotionally as well. David will be fine, this hurts you more than it hurts David.

  56. Dyan says:

    Children, people can be very unkind sometimes.I was so sad to read your words, but David has such a loving and sweet spirit which you see so clearly by just looking at him and he’ll be fine and make lots of friends who’ll treasre him for that and all that he is.

  57. Jackie Smith says:

    Awwwww Lisa, You made me want to cry. Plain and simple KIDS CAN BE VERY MEAN…..we all know it’s true and it always will be. I can remember my first day of high school being made fun of by this girl, and I thought I looked so cute that day….boy talk about a way to start high school. But I got through that day and many more because I had my friends and family surrounding me with love. You know Lisa is that my hubby and I have always told our kids no matter what someone looks like, what color they are or how they talk or dress, that they need to respect everybody and NEVER EVER make fun of someone….it’s sad to think that for these little kids it hasn’t been ingrained in their minds by their parents. They need to be taught young so they know better as they grow up. xxxooo

  58. Mandy Kirk says:

    I think this poem captures the life of David as well as my son Caleb. Life will be hard for these little ones but they are here to teach others, and boy have I learned a lot from Caleb!

    Your Smile
    By Janet Gresham

    My child,

    Your smile tightens our heartstrings,
    pulling our love into a great big bow.
    Your smile streams like sunshine through trees,
    sprinkling laughter in the shade.

    Your mind may never ponder metaphors.
    Your eyes may never follow clouds.
    Your feet may never scamper barefoot.
    Your fingers may never pen a letter.
    Your voice may never say “I love you.”

    Yet, my child,

    You are granted power to teach patience,
    hope,
    joy,
    grace,
    sacrifice,
    unabridged love.

    To those who pause their world
    long enough to know you,
    you give yourself and smile.

  59. Jackie says:

    As a teacher, I see this quite often. Big ears, longer leg, glasses, a mole, big eyes, etc. When these issues come up, it is my hope (and my job)to see that it could be a teachable moment for all. We have many meetings in my class to discuss these type of situations. When kids have the opportunity to learn about WHY some people have things they don’t, they understand so much better.
    Also when children have the opportunity to share how HURT they are when others “make fun” of their uniqueness, their tearful eyes beg for acceptance. Kids just need to be taught compassion and love. I hope that Davids teacher uses these situations to teach ALL of the children about acceptance and love. Kids mostly make fun because they don’t know the WHY’S of life.

  60. cathy c says:

    lisa, that is heartbreaking – and beautiful about the girls. im my son’s first school, he had already been in preschool for 3 years with many of his peers, so thankfully they knew him well before the school stuff got in the way. the less tloerant of them used to tell me ‘shea’s just being shea again’ not so since we moved. his form of autism has people expect ‘more’ from him, and that has caused lots of problems in school. now he’s in a behavior class because he is in so defensive a mode to protect his really big heart, and now he’s aware he’s in “the bad kid class” and doesn’t want to go to school anymore. may david have his three girls looking out for him for years to come. shea a gaggle of them back at his old school, and boys, too. and it’s only kindergarten, with hope and a great teacher and sped staff, the others can learn now, before their expectations begin to fossilize their hearts.

  61. kim says:

    My little brother is special needs. I always worried about him since we went to different schools. I would always ask if anyone teased him. He would always say no. I finally learned that the kids loved Peter. Since he couldn’t be on the wrestling team, they made him the manager. They made that position just for him. When it came down to the sports award dinner, they gave him the manager of the year award. When he was in high school, every time we went to the mall, someone would always say hi to him. When we would ask who that person was, he wouldn’t know. It seemed that everyone knew and loved Peter. One day, everyone will know and love David. They too will become a protector of him. It might take a few years, but please don’t worry. Trust in the Lord.

  62. Debbie says:

    That makes me tear up. I hate whenever I am forced to come face to face with Addison’s differences. It’s not like I’m living in denial, but she just is who she’s always been to us. And having someone ask what’s “wrong” with her is like a slap in the face. Every.single.time. I keep praying that someday people will just see her light as well.
    I do hope the teacher can offer some insight and guidance in this area.

  63. Angel Funk says:

    The kids in David’s class are so blessed to have him there. For some of them it may be their first chance to learn how to look past someone’s outer appearance and see the person inside. I hope his teacher is vigilant in teaching them this lesson, because it is obvious David has a special spirit and lots of love and light to give everyone that’s around him.

  64. Heidi @ GGIP says:

    Aww. That is so sad and happy at the same time. It’s true that most kids do make fun of other kids. I wish parents and teacher would be more proactive about it.

  65. lera says:

    I can only imagine how heartbreaking that was for you. I think the maternal instinct is to fight for and protect our children, but we can’t be there every minute of every day. I can only pray that all children will learn sympathy and compassion for those that are different and those that are the same.

  66. Rachel says:

    Those are precious, precious hands. It can be hard for children to see the beauty in things that are “different”. It can be difficult for parents to take the time to teach that to their children. I pray, after reading this, that I teach my children to love their own uniqueness and that of others. Give those sweet, little hands lots and lots of kisses from my family, even though we have never met. :) They truly are precious.

  67. Annette says:

    only in a home full of love would a child learn to love like David does in those photos with his daddy!!! Those little girls saw his charm – others will follow :)

  68. Jeanne says:

    kids are very cruel, but his heart will shine through and they will see what a precious kid he is, plus you all of us , knowing on precious he is.

  69. Tonia says:

    These pictures made me teary-eyed. What beautiful pictures and a beautiful boy.
    I’m sorry kids are so darn mean. As moms we wish we could just sweep these kids up and take them away so they never get hurt.
    I received one of your necklaces from a friend in May, 2 weeks after we lost our 2 year old son. It has the names of all 3 of our children on it and it means so much.
    Today was the first time I checked out your blog and I love it. You do great work and have a gorgeous family.

  70. Mama Bear says:

    As both a special ed teacher and parent of 3 kids who all have varying abilities, I can tell you for every child who teases, there are 10 ready to lift your child up.

    My son has autism and I used to worry so much about the bullies at school. When he moved up to middle school, some of the kids from other elementary schools started to tease him, but the children from his own elementary school stood up for him. Even the former bullies!

    There is a special place for our kids. They teach so much to our world. David will end up earning more respect and be more well known than the typical child in his classes. Don’t let the comments of a few overwhelm the love of the majority. He is God’s gift.

  71. Kim says:

    Lisa – sorry I am late to the party – I forgot to switch my feed settings to the new blog!

    I am a Multiple Disabilities teacher. Mostly I deal with autism, which in theory is an invisible disease. There isn’t quite as much for kids to make fun of. But I have a student who has a very large cyst on his face, causing him not to be able to close his mouth and causing constant drooling. He also has cysts/bleeding on his tongue, so he has to wear a mask to keep things clean. Ironically, this student is one of the most cognitively able in my class – he just has communication problems because of the cyst. Combine that with being overly active (he bounces all. the. time!) and he is certainly a sight to behold.

    I disagree with the statement that kids are cruel…we are all sinners, and that is where that behavior comes from, but kids aren’t innately cruel. (Sadly, they learn that from their parents and friends and classmates, and yes, teachers). But kids just aren’t informed, and so when they’ve learned to react with cruelty, that is all they can do.

    When students (sadly, in MANY grades, even as young as first and as old as 4th and 5th) make a comment about our student, my assistants or I will bring that student back and introduce our student. He usually says hello, asks their name, etc. Sometimes he gets pity, and I tell them not to feel sorry for him, that he’s just made a little differently than them, but that he’s just fine.

    It makes me sad (and angry) and immediately want to protect my student when someone makes a comment about him, and I know someday soon he’s going to learn that when we are introducing him to new people outside his class, it’s usually because they’ve said something hurtful. But I want him to know, and THEM to know, that in the case of disabilities, we ALL have special needs, and we’re all different, and different isn’t wrong or bad or something to feel sorry for. It’s just different.

    Love and hugs to you!

  72. irene says:

    i have ason with special-needs…he has a big acare on his head…when they started to teas him we went to the teacher and spoke to her…..she came up with this and it worked…1) teas free zone in class room
    2) a book for there level was read to them abaut special needs kids
    3) every week one special child was picked by the teacher (who was special carring and helpful to anyone in the class). to eat in the classroom a special lunch with him…i used to send in a donut or a cupcake..( the whole class got so into it)..
    hope it helps a little

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