August 11, 2014

Deconstructing the Gentle Lie

This morning at Support for Special Needs:
Beyond mythological figures, there's the gradually disintegrating gentle lie we tell our children, the one that says that if they work hard enough or want it bad enough, they can do anything they want in the world. For kids with special needs, I suppose it's not all that different. As parents, we overbelieve, and we sell that overbelief to our kids, and that's not a bad thing, I don't think. As they grow older, like Santa, they begin to see the flaws in our lie, and as they deconstruct it bit by bit, they begin to incrementally build a more pragmatic truth in its place. They sniff out the path that does await them, the one that is meaningful and possible. As their parents, we can help, but in the end, it's not our quest. It's theirs.


Elise Hopkins said...

Wow-- powerful! I know that so many of us in the field want to give kids the hope that they can accomplish ANYTHING, and then others stress the importance of being "realistic." You really show such a profound understanding of the balance between these two concepts-- we must give our kids both. A reminder that we believe in them and their potential, and also a pinch of reality. Thank you for reminding us of the importance of keeping both of these in mind as we interact with kids and their families.
--Elise Hopkins, Kids Included Together

Unknown said...

I have never commented since everyone else is more eloquent. I have read you since before Schuler.(Hope I spelled her correctly, I always think "Skyler".)
Your writing hs become more thoughtful an eloquent over the years as you love for your daughter grows and as she matures. You are a lovely family.