When you have a "regular" child, you feel reasonably assured that class participation and decent study habits will result in good grades. These kids have close friends. They get invited to participate in social things, like dances and weekend gatherings. They make the teams, auditioned organizations and clubs.
However, when you have a child with certain differences, this is often not the case. Learning may take longer, both academically and socially. Despite their tremendous efforts, results are often a fraction of their peers and social acceptance is fleeting, setting them up for painful comparisons and bitter frustration. Instead of a fun and fulfilling experience, school can become a breeding ground for depression and anxiety, and assignments a battle ground at home. It is exhausting for parent and child alike.
This is the week of SPED (Special Education), Autism, Dyslexia, and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) awareness. For all the children who struggle every day to succeed in a world that does not recognize their gifts and talents, and for those who are walking beside them, please let this be a gentle reminder to be kind and accepting of ALL people. Recognize that the "playing field" is not always a level surface. Children who learn differently are not weird. They are merely gifted in ways that our society does not immediately recognize. Yet they want what everyone else wants: To be accepted.