My son has Down syndrome, and since he is only 6 years old I’m relatively new to the special needs community. This past school year my son attended kindergarten, where we were lucky to meet other children with special needs. Looking around the classroom, I learned a million lovely things about children who are similarly challenged.
Here are only a few ways kids with special needs are amazing.
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1. They Are Present in the Moment
Children with special needs have a way of being fully present in the moment, easily experiencing spontaneity, play and surprise. They are rarely distracted by what others are thinking of them or how they look, and they’re able to just live moment-to-moment.
2. They Are Extra Aware
Often, children with special needs don’t have the words or language to communicate with the same sophistication as those around them, but don’t think that they’re not aware of their surroundings. These children are often tuned into subtle energies that most of us don’t notice. When I’ve been able to be present and pay close attention, I can always feel a huge field of energy being emitted by these children.
They are not judging themselves and are freely being who they are, without apology.
3. They Appreciate Simple Things
I have seen that children with special needs see the world with awe and have a spectacular interest in simple things. It is not unusual for these lovely souls to be captivated by the things most of us overlook.
4. They Are Profoundly Themselves
Children with special needs lack a capacity for artifice. There is nothing within them that is trying to fit in or conform to what society says is acceptable, best or worthy. They are not judging themselves and are freely being who they are, without apology.
5. They Have Unexpected Skills
Children with special needs often excel in ways we don’t expect. We often do not demand much from them, and they in turn find ways to surprise us by excelling and doing the unthinkable.
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6. They Are Great Gurus
Making no effort to instruct, children with special needs are great gurus. They have a way of giving those around them permission to let go and just live, even if just for a moment or a few hours. They are not concerned about the things that plague most of our thinking or daily living. Watch them—they are experts at being here now.
So what’s special about children with special needs? It’s their ability to live completely authentically, and their invitation to everyone they encounter to do the same. Our vision is renewed and refreshed every time we allow ourselves to see life through their eyes.