Her male friend at the table was surprised as he noted her ability to sign. Her response, “My dad was deaf. I learned to sign at an early age. He taught me how important it is to be kind and help someone in need whenever you can.”
What I found remarkable after seeing this movie is reading an article about a Santa Claus who held a small girl in his lap who was having a terrible time telling him what she wanted for Christmas. The momma, standing near, apologized for the girl’s difficulties. Santa wasn’t bothered at all, but asked if she knew sign language and her mother said, yes! Santa immediately began to sign to the little girl who was completely delighted and expressed great joy!
This family isn’t the only one who has challenges during the holiday season due to children with special needs. Traditions remain important, even when they must be planned for and customized for each family or circumstance. When there is a child who is sensory sensitive, changes like keeping music low during activities is important, as is being sure to shop early in the day to avoid large and intimidating crowds.
Even with all the pre-planning and expectations, things still can go completely wrong. Another family had prepared for a visit with Santa, much like the above situation. The girl was delighted when she saw Santa heading for his chair and waved with excitement. Momma snapped a spontaneous photo with her phone.
However, the little girl in this circumstance, became completely unsettled with sitting on Santa’s lap. She refused to pose, smile or in any way become cooperative. The mom was disappointed in her daughter’s response, but recognized, it didn’t matter---not a bit! A visit was made, a picture taken---even if it wasn’t on Santa’s lap. The moment would be forever cherished!
What I find interesting is I remember when my own children were small with no diagnosed special needs and they too found the jolly man in the red suit frightening! I have pictures with tears! We all have things that intimidate us, whether we are six months, or sixty years!
We all have needs. “Special” should not define us…..and it certainly should not define our children, regardless of any pre-conceived notions anyone else has! As you shop this holiday season, visit with friends and family, and attend holiday festivities, remember each person deserves our kindness and understanding. It matters not our differences--physical or otherwise, race, creed, political preferences or faith beliefs. It’s Christmas! Share the love!
If you like this post on “Special Needs” visit my online store www.paxtonseries.com to buy children’s books I have authored on special needs. Merry Christmas, everyone!