Wednesday, January 4, 2012

How Do You Educate Your Special Needs Child for the Real World When they Grow Up?

Educating your special-needs child is extremely important, if they are to ever grow up and participate in the real world. There are many learning disabilities that children will grow out of, and they will be able to overcome in order to live normal lives, active lives, and participate fine in society. Of course, there are some things which are almost impossible to predict, which just goes to prove that your special-needs child's education never really stops.

The other day I was discussing this with a very nice couple whose special need teen was not really cut out to go to college, and they didn't graduate HS in the regular class, nevertheless they got the appropriate education for their particular child, and they would have to continually work with their offspring to prepare them for the real world. Luckily, there are other social services available to help them through this process, but life will always be somewhat of a challenge.

There was an interesting piece not long ago, on FOX News titled; "TSA Admits 'Bad Judgment' After Disabled Man Subjected to Airport Pat-Down" which was published on June 10, 2011. The news segment noted;

"A Detroit father told FOX that the TSA singled out his special-needs son for a pat-down while the family was headed to Disney World. The TSA admitted was a case of bad judgment. The Detroit Metro Airport took his son Drew, 29, and asked him about the padding underneath his pants, which turned out to be adult diapers. Drew, who is severely mentally disabled, had trouble understanding the agents' orders because his family said he has the mental capacity of a 2-year-old."

When the father intervened to explain, the TSA folks said to step back, let them do their job, they knew what they were doing, and not to interfere. Perhaps, you can understand how difficult this was for the family, but it gets back to my main point, and that is; just because your child can understand how to perhaps count money, dress themselves, do limited cooking, and perhaps live on their own, doesn't mean they are prepared for all the things that might occur in their lives.

In this case it turned out to be quite an event, and perhaps a traumatic one for the mentally disabled individual. Maybe the biggest problem here is that many people in our society do not understand how tough it is, but maybe some good will come out of this story in the news, and remind us all, that these special needs folks are also members of our society, and we need to look out for them as well. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

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