The experience of parenting of a child who is affected by the more severe end of the autism spectrum reminds me daily that there are numerous things that I can’t control. My first impulse when my son was diagnosed was to try and “fix” as many of the symptoms of his disability as I could.
It is important for parents of children with special needs to not feel like they are isolated from their peers with typically developing children—and it is equally important for parents raising typical kids for them to find ways to teach their children about disability without fear or anxiety.
Yesterday in this space, I discussed three surefire ways to shut down a conversation with the parent of a child who has a disability. Of course, talking about disability can be one of the trickiest, most awkward-moment-producing topics around. Differences raise fear and anxiety for all of us and that limits the chances for meaningful dialogue. But I hope that with increased disability awareness education, like my post of yesterday and this one, we can create more productive conversations. Try any one or all of these three topics!
Forget religion and politics, sex and money: talking about disability can be one of the trickiest, most awkward-moment-producing topics around. As a parent of a child with a disability, I’ve participated in more than my share of unproductive conversations based in other people’s projections of my experience.
Recently, Jewish Learning Venture hosted a webinar on “High Holiday Inclusion” as part of outreach to clergy and lay leadership in the Philadelphia vicinity. We are sharing some tips that we hope your community can utilize, either this year or in the future, to make your synagogue truly a house of worship for all people.