A gifted childs take on a child with special needs. Adventures of growing up with disabilitiesEliana Tardio
I would love to say article is the product of my own inspiration, but it is not. Instead, it is the result of a wonderful conversation I had a couple days ago with one of my son’s classmates.
Two weeks ago Emir brought home his report card from school. His performance is not the best and he’s obviously way behind his typical classmates. I can´t lie about it, every time he gets low grades, I feel sad and disappointed, not about him, but about myself.
Those are the days when I feel I´m not doing all that I should be doing. Those are the days that I feel I should resign my dreams of writing and blogging, and dedicate more time to him. Those are the tough days of my life when I feel I don’t have the right to think of me first, because he needs me more than anyone else and nothing else is worth it if I can’t keep him living a typical life.
I’m a drama queen, so I immediately started thinking about the teacher, about all the things that we have achieved during the last months and all the things we will lose if he is not able to proof that he can keep up, that he can keep learning and gaining from the experience of inclusion.
Of course I didn’t wait for the teacher to call me to discuss his performance, and I called right away to request an appointment with her. She gave me an appointment two days later, so the following 48 hours were incredibly anxious for me. Finally the day of the meeting came, and I decided to take Emir with me instead of sending him onto the school bus. When I crossed the school´s front office, I felt like a little child being thrown into school with no directions. I was nervous and overwhelmed, trying to find reasons to convince my son’s teacher to give him another opportunity to demonstrate that he can do it. There I was, walking through those big halls while holding Emir’s right hand, trying to find strength to face his teacher, when the miracle happened.
Far away I heard a squeaky voice: “Emir, wait for me!” Emir didn’t stop; actually he sped up trying to ignore the voice. I asked him to wait for his friend, but he didn´t. Even so, the little girl was fast, so two minutes later she was at my side, introducing herself to me and giving Emir a big hug.
“Hi Emir’s mom! Are you Emir’s mom?” I was still trying to understand Emir’s behavior while I told her “Yes.” That was all she needed to start talking about Emir, his behavior, his goals and her dreams together.
“I´m so glad to meet you. Listen, I have been talking with my mom about Emir. At the beginning I noticed he doesn´t talk much, but I like him, he’s so cute. By the way, why is he so blonde? Well, anyway, my mom explained it all to me. I know that Emir goes slower than I do, but it’s okay; I’m here to help, he´s a good boy, so don´t worry, he´ll be fine.”
I was astonished but delighted while listening at her. She took two seconds to breathe and I took the opportunity for asking her name. “Sara, my name is Sara” she said, but as expected, she gave more information, she also told me that she’s the only child, she’s only 6, she’s gifted and her mom is very proud of her.
And that was the moment I took the plunge and asked her, “What´s the difference between you and Emir?”
She shrugged and told me: “Locally, I don’t see any differences between us. My only concern is that sometimes he’s takes too much time for eating his lunch, so there I am, reminding him that he needs to hurry up so we can go back together to our classroom.”
I smiled and looked at Emir, a typical boy who gets annoyed by a typical girl.
When I realized we were already at Emir´s classroom. I asked her if she was going in and she said. “No, don´t forget I’m gifted. I have another classroom first.” So she left, waving her hand and smiling.
I breathed again before opening the door and one more time I heard her voice telling me, “Emir’s mom, don´t worry! He´ll be okay!” and that was it. I couldn’t avoid anymore the miracle or the coincidence that a gifted little girl brought to me. That was great reminder that kids are just kids, and God uses their voices for bringing us important messages of love and acceptance. The meeting went great, I shared with the teacher my conversation with Sara, and she agreed that they all love Emir, and understand his unique way to learn and being.
Dedicated to Sara, a real gift to our world. Kids are not more special because they are gifted or because they have special needs. They are special because they are simple kids.