Saturday, October 17, 2009

Specially for you

Anybody who cares for a person -- whether a child or an adult -- with special needs knows that the responsibility comes with challenges that require more patience and creativity. Is he a brother? A sister? A son? A daughter? A friend? I think each of us knows somebody who has "a little something extra" (as teacher and book author Barbara Curtis has put it when referring to people with Down Syndrome) or is lacking in something, making them different from others in more ways. Thank God we can rest assured that the value of every person's life depends not on what he can do but on what he is -- a child of God. And for any creature there can be no higher dignity than that!

It may also be comforting to know that even though most kids with special needs have a more limited ceiling when it comes to the level of understanding and intellectual capability or of physical tasks that they can carry out, the joy and the sense of wonder their presence can bring about in those around them, are limitless. That, and the depth of self-giving that they can enable their families and caregivers to reach.

This may provide some boost and assurance to those who spend a lot of time with people with special needs. I think it also gives us a deeper insight into things that special people also need (and feelings they may experience) which we have taken for granted or probably aren't aware of to begin with:

Beatitudes for friends of special needs kids

Blessed are you who take time to listen to difficult speech:
For you help us to know that if we persevere,
We can be understood.

Blessed are you who walk with us in public places,
And ignore the stares of strangers,
For in your companionship,
We find havens of peace.

Blessed are you who never bid us to "hurry up",
And more blessed are you
Who do not snatch tasks from our hands to do them for us,
For often we need time rather than help.

Blessed are you who stand beside us
As we enter new and untried ventures,
For our failures will be outweighed
By the times we surprise ourselves and you.

Blessed are you who ask for our help,
For our greatest need is to be needed.

Blessed are you when you assure us,
That the one thing that makes us individuals
Is not in our peculiar muscles,
Nor in our wounded nervous systems,
Nor in our difficulties in learning,
Nor any exterior difference.
But is in our inner, personal, individual self
Which no infirmity can diminish or erase.

- Author Unknown

H/T: MommyLife

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