A Little Kindness Is All I Ask

August 21, 2022

For special needs parents like me, a little kindness and understanding from the people around us will go a long way.

A few days ago, I was browsing through one of the autism Facebook groups that I belong to and one post caught my attention because it was so much relatable to me.

A little kindness for my little boy who is happily playing on a trampoline

A Little Kindness Is All I Ask

The post was from a mother of a four-year-old non-verbal autistic boy who was attending pre-school. In that post, the mother was seeking the opinion of other parents from the group about his son’s situation in school.

According to the mother, it seemed like his son was having a hard time in school considering that it was just his third day. While the boy was sleeping, the mom noticed that there appeared to be dents on his fingers which looked like they got there because a door was slammed on them. After her son’s second day at school, the mom also noticed that he had dried tears and that his shirt had been chewed up.

I could imagine the distress that the mom was feeling and couldn’t blame her for wanting to confront her son’s school. At the same time, she was afraid to take action for fear that it would just make her son’s situation at school even worse.

This story encapsulates one of the worst fears of special needs parents like me who have non-verbal children. I’m afraid of my son getting hurt and him not being able to communicate that to me. I’m afraid that my son will get bullied but he couldn’t do anything about it because he is non-speaking.

I guess that’s also the reason why I’m quite paranoid and a little more particular when it comes to Miguel. With Rafa, for example, I’d ask him how his day went and he’d tell me what they did. If I saw bruises on his legs, I’d ask him where he got those and he’d tell me he hit his legs on the bedpost.

With Miguel, it’s different. I’d check his arms and legs, inspect his body, and run my fingers on his head in search of bumps or cuts or anything that may indicate that he was hurt. If I found anything, I’d probe some more if they looked like they were deliberate or unintentional. I’d ask the children’s yaya where he got all of those and so forth.

I sometimes get anxious thinking that my son is around unfamiliar people in his school. I know they are good people but they are also people just the same. They have bad days and they also have other things to think about. At times, they may have shorter patience and may not be at their best in handling a little boy who’s giving them a hard time. I don’t want to imagine or think of the unthinkable because that may be going a bit too far. Then again, I just can’t help it because that is the reality and I myself lose my temper.

What I’m just saying is that special needs parents have so much to worry about and the last thing that we want to happen is for our children to experience unfairness or prejudice. As such, I do hope the people around us would be kinder and more understanding to special needs individuals.

I know we live in an imperfect world and people sometimes get uneasy when they are around situations and people who are atypical. When you are faced with such circumstances, just remember to show a little kindness. It will do a lot for parents like me who are also oftentimes confused but are trying their best not to show it and appear to be in control.

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