As seen by others
I am the mother of a young boy with a mental deficiency. He is now 5 years old. I discovered what characterizes him a little over two years ago. The news was very difficult to accept. I asked myself: "Why me?" I must say that prior to this I had gone through several particularly difficult events in my life and for this reason, I pondered this famous question for a long time. There is no answer. I saw the situation as personal. However, it wasn't happening to me, it was happening to my son. To ease the pain of people going through this situation, I would say that it is an extremely difficult challenge to live through but it is there to help you evolve. I realize even more today what is most important in life. Before, I thought I was an open-minded young woman who easily accepted the differences of others. To some extent, I was, but nothing compared to what I am today. I used to think that I had no prejudices but then realized that people with deficiencies had always scared me. Why? A very important person in my entourage was afraid of them and had planted the same feeling in me. It is all about education. I hope that one day people will talk openly about deficiencies to avoid the subject being so taboo. I think that it is very difficult to be different. However, we are all different in one way or another. Love and other real values are what unite us.
For now, I continue to keep my thoughts to myself since when I do talk about deficiencies the reactions are unfortunately strange instead of comforting. Above all, looks speak a thousand words. We are set aside, in a small corner, by society in general. This is how I feel anyways. I do not want my child to feel that being different isn't okay. He is a sensitive child and loves to be in contact with others.
Next year, he will be beginning school. This is a huge step which terrifies me. He will be with people who do not know him, who are not used to him, who haven't learned to love and appreciate him before realizing he has a deficiency. I do think that children will be able to understand and adapt depending on the education they have been given in regards to differences. If children have been taught to act the same way with people who are different instead of ignoring them and being mean to them, I think anything is possible. The bottom line is that children react the way they have been taught to react. Of course, in a family which includes a child with differences, a sense of understanding is much more present than in a family who has never been faced with differences.
My child has been surrounded by the same children ever since he was very young. His peers accept him as he is. Young children have no prejudices. Prejudices come into play when an older child arrives and watches my son out of the corner of his eye, does not want my son to approach him, etc. This is what is most difficult to accept...how others see your child.
There are days when I feel blessed with this life experience. However, I still have a million things to learn and understand. Realizing things and putting them into practice are two very different things. There are no right or wrong ways to overcome challenges. It has been very difficult for me and honestly, I still find it difficult to talk about it today. As parents, the hardest things to accept are the ones which involve our children. We feel powerless.
I do not want my child to suffer from being different. I will do everything I can to ensure his happiness and for him to feel loved.
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