As individuals on this planet, we’re all different from each other which makes us all the same. I know this makes sense if and when you’re able to slow your brain down enough to think about it. The people who know and care about us will generally strive to understand HOW we are different so they can be supportive of who we are. I believe everyone does this for their loved ones. It’s related to interdependence and innate survival.
I realize that I’m pretty complex, and feel fortunate that a handful of people value me enough that they’ve learned how to support and love me in spite of my differences. In turn there are a handful of people that I’ve gone out of my way to understand their differences so that they know someone “gets” them. There’s real beauty in this.
Why then, does society put the label of “special needs” on some people, when we all have individualized needs? Is it because some people have needs that society refuses to understand and accept as natural? Is it because some people are less valued by society because their differences are more obvious or blatant? Are anyone’s needs really more special than anyone else’s? I don’t believe they are.
The thought underlying what I’m writing here (in case you haven’t already figured it out) is that I believe it’s time to stop labeling people who have different needs than the vast majority as “special”. It only serves to set them apart from their peers and community, limiting and marginalizing them. I believe that true inclusion in society can only happen when we see each other as individuals who are all the same. Ya know??