“But She’s Special Needs…”

Today I had to take my step-daughter to the ear doctor.  From the moment we were about to depart she decided she was going to misbehave and give me nothing but attitude. She continued this behavior even after we arrived.  As soon as I corrected her, I was given evil glares by people.  Many people, these days, think that a special needs child should get away with murder. I am not one of those parents, so excuse me if I feel the need to correct my mouthy child.  Special needs or not, she hasn’t any right behaving in an inappropriate manner to anyone, anywhere nor does she have the right to disrespect me or choose NOT to listen.

She thinks she is funny when she behaves this way and sasses us.  She isn’t.  Could this behavior be influenced by peers at school? Possibly. Is it due to the fact she has been shuffled from place to place and to different families a majority of her life?  That could be it as well. But, one factor does remain:  She has been babied a majority of her life and her unruly behavior, ignored.  And so begins the journey of correcting it.  Is it an easy road? No. But, nonetheless, it is a road we must endure and travel so she can blossom and mature into the young lady she is capable of being.  And, yes, I secretly hope she comes to understand and thank us someday.

But, in the meantime, we will ignore the snorts from others, the glares, the “I can’t believe she is disciplining that special needs child. The poor kid” thoughts from others.  Why? Because we do not agree in treating her differently than any other child.  Because although she may struggle academically, her thoughts, actions, and desires are that of any other child her age because we see it. We experience it. We live with it.

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