Friday, August 6, 2021

A Plea From A Special Needs Mom Before The First Week of School

By Brittany Denison, CCA Mom to Michael

“Dear God, please make them be nice to him”

-- Julia Roberts, From the Major Motion Picture "Wonder," Released in 2017 (Lionsgate)

Hi friends! The first day of school is right around the corner and I wanted to make this post to help parents educate their children. This year Michael will start Kindergarten; I’m so excited, yet so scared. As he gets older he is starting to realize that he is different. He is also becoming more affected by the whispers and stares. Michael was born with a rare condition, Treacher Collins syndrome, exactly like the boy Auggie in the movie "Wonder." He looks very different, but he is mentally the exact same as all the other children (maybe even a bit smarter)!

I have a HUGE ask of all parents of school aged children!
Would you please take a moment to talk to your children before school starts next week?

  • Talk to them about using words like “different and unique” instead of “weird and scary”

  • Talk to them not only about being friendly and kind, but also about being a friend. 

  • Please don’t tell them not to stare! Instead let them know that if they are going to stare, it’s polite to also say “Hi ”

  • Teach them to stand up for the kid in the room who is being picked on, and to sit with the kid who is being excluded. 

  • MOST IMPORTANTLY: Model acceptance and kindness in the way you speak to other adults. This includes the cashier, the drive thru employee, and the guy who didn’t use his turn signal!

Also, if you see us out and about we love to answer questions about Michael’s condition and make new friends. If you take a step out of your comfort zone to talk to someone who you think is different, you may find out that you have more in common than you think! 

Please share the message if you feel inclined, we could all use a little extra kindness!
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart!

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