The “Different” Child: Back to the Basics (Part 11)

Categories: Léo’s Insights 2023-2024, Back to the Basics

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But my child is different, you may say. She is special needs and requires special programming. Yes, indeed, but all children are special needs. All children are unique and in need of special programming. Through God’s eyes, we are all special, precious, differences notwithstanding. God’s love is ubiquitously applied to everyone. We can all be thankful to that.

Diversity demands differences in a range of characteristics. Intelligence, for instance can range from severely handicapped to brilliantly genius, but everyone is of equal value. The simple formula is: to whom little is given is little required. Alternatively, to whom much is given is much required. “Requirements” therefore differ depending on the child and with every child being different all should have different expectations. There is no case for a standard child.

God has never made a mistake, but humanity still suffers as a consequence of the fall. This old world is certainly not heaven, yet we must all do our part to make it a better place, especially for the children God has given us.

Consider that if a handicapped child had nothing to compare themselves to, they would see themselves as “normal” and the “standard” of humanity. It is only when comparing themselves to others or when people including parents compare them that differences are noticed. Still most children are fine with who they are until they are told they are different or that there is something wrong with them. Nothing does this better than having them “tested” for some kind of learning deficiency or handicap. This thinking comes from the worldly belief in standard children. If a child falls out of a standard range, they are diagnosed to see what needs fixing, much like we would treat a problem computer or car. Note that funding levels increase for children with greater needs, and so it is in the school’s best financial interest to diagnose every child with some kind of deformity.

This is what puts tears of frustration on a child’s cheek. While we must all provide special treatment to all children, let them be who they are and stop trying to fix them as the school does. Doing so only communicates that God has made a mistake.

To learn more about children with special needs, see the Learning Challenges blog series:

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