Wednesday, February 15, 2012

the term "special needs"

Okay, so I have had some thoughts mulling around in my brain these last weeks. Now that I have children with "special needs", I have found myself using that term a lot. Ugh. I hate that term. I mean, I don't know what other term to use though.

What exactly are "special needs"?

Wikipedia says...
In the United States, special needs is a term used in clinical diagnostic and functional development to describe individuals who require assistance for disabilities that may be medical, mental, or psychological.

I would venture to say that I HAVE "special needs"! Don't we all?! I could certainly use some pyschological help...I'm not afraid to admit this! And we all need medical help at times, right?

Okay, so I may be a bit dramatic here, but I can't help it...that term bothers me. I mean, I SAY IT...like, a lot. Maybe it's the fact that when someone says "special needs", the person they're speaking to automatically has this assumption in their head as to what that means and there is such a wide variety of "special needs". I don't want to put my child in this specific category. I don't know if this is right or wrong to feel this way, but it's how I feel. Not sure what writing this out is going to do for me, but I like to document my thoughts here so I guess you all get to read it as well. :)

So with our newest addition, I say he is "medically fragile"...because he is. This seems like an accurate category to put him in. However, with the little one, I don't know what to say. People will ask, "does he have special needs?" Well, yes he does...don't you? I sure do! I often find myself saying that he has some "developemental delays".

I guess I like the broader categories of "developemental delays" and "medically fragile" better than the term "special needs". On paper, 2 of our children will be labeled as "special needs children". I don't know, it just bothers me.

So there you have it...my random thoughts on "special needs". Feel free to chime in with your thoughts on this.

6 comments:

Heidi said...

All kids deserve a mom like you....no matter what the label is I can tell one thing for sure... your kids are lucky!!!
There is a big push right now to remind people to put the child first so when saying Special Needs it should be said
A CHILD with special needs! Doesn't help with the special needs phrasing but I do like the child first! Because hello.... they are children first- loving little bugs! I don't know you very well at all except through your blog but I really enjoy your conversation and I feel joy in my heart to imagine the joys that you are finding these days!

Kerry said...

Holy crap! This is cracking me up because you just fit with "us." I can't tell you how many times I had this conversation with friends who have cared for "special needs" kids or in reference to my "special needs" kids that look/act nothing like your "special needs" kids. I hate that term too because well, hell ya I have special needs - duh! You're right there really isn't another term that's used widely. I've even gone so far, when I'm in a really good mood ;), as to reply to the "Are they . . . ?" with "Yup, she/he takes after her mom (in reference to me not bio.)." That usually turns the light bulb on the rest of the way for the poor well meaning soul you made the wrong comment on the wrong day.

Kerry said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jennie Peakin said...

Heidi...you are TOO SWEET! However, WE are the lucky ones! :)

Kerry...I'm going to have to remember to tell people that my kids just take after me! :) Love that!

Jenni612 said...

I would just like you to know that wikipedia can be changed by anyone... I could go and say a cloud is called a cloud because thats what the drunik said when he looked up... wikipedia is not known Knowledge!!! It is, on the other hand, people who think they know knoledge, and it is open for the public. Keep your head up, You were always a great person and I doubt that has changed any... You and your family will succeed - you have enough love for your family and mine!!! Sometimes that makes a bigger diference than you think!!!

Lora, James and Family said...

Glanced and thought that this was something similiar...word Peakin

http://madhousewife.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/i-hate-the-term-special-needs/