Last night I was online chatting with the mom of one of Emmie's friends. Emmie and her daughter have been in the same class for the last few years. She asked about our move and I explained that we wouldn't be moving to Germany because they couldn't support Emmie's special educational needs. "What's wrong with her?", she said. Um, excuse me? What is wrong with her? Nothing is wrong with her. It's not like she has a cold or a broken toe. The conversation pretty much ended there. I could have went on to explain Emmie's auditory processing disorder, but for some reason, I felt like it wouldn't have done any good. In her eyes, something was "wrong" with Emmie and I took offense to that. There is nothing we need to do to "fix her". She is fine just the way she is!!!!
A similar situation occurred to another friend of mine. Her son wears hearing aides. Apparently they were at a local Chuck E. Cheese establishment and a little girl was making fun of him for his hearing aides. He wasn't going to take it and marched her to her mother and told her what happened. This little boy is the most amazing kid to have the confidence and strength to stand up for himself (he's going into the 2nd grade). He is certainly a rock star!
What sort of world are we living in? What are we teaching our children about people who are different from them? Are we teaching understanding, patience, acceptance? Or are we raising judgemental little brats? Are they learning by how we treat other people?
I guess Dr. Seuss said it best, "A person's a person, no matter how small". In my eyes, Emmie is just a regular kid. She requires extra care, a little extra time and patience. She needs you to approach her in a different manner than some, but she is far from broken. She typically doesn't realize when someone is making fun of her and for that I'm both grateful and sad. I want her to stand up for herself like little Mr. Rock Star. But for now, she is the most loving and accepting little girl. She doesn't care what color you are, what your hair looks like, what clothes you are wearing, or if you brought tuna or peanut butter to school...she cares that you are nice to her. What a wonderful perspective she has on people!!