More Different or More the Same

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Do you have a child with Downs Syndrome?
Do you have a child with Autism?
Sensory Integration Disorder?
Charge Syndrome?
Executive Function Disorder?
Another diagnosis?

Does your child have:

  • meltdowns?
  • Sweet laughter?
  • A curious mind?
  • Temper tantrums?
  • Need for medical interventions frequently?

Is your child mischievous?

Does your child:

  • Climb playground equipment like nobody’s business?
  • Make you crazy sometimes?
  • Make you so proud you think you cannot stand it?

Does your child need:

  • Potty help or diaper changes?
  • Baths?
  • His or her nose wiped?
  • Hugs?
  • Help dressing?
  • Help eating either thru nursing, bottles, spoon feeding, cutting up in small pieces, etc.
  • To be taught and guided and prayed over?

A child is a child.

We might tend to focus on what makes them different but let’s take time for a minute to focus on what makes them the same.

All children need basic physical care.

All children need to be clothed and bathed and fed.

All children need love and hugs.

All children need to be taught right from wrong.

All children need to be taught the fruit of the Spirit.

All children will sabotage their development in one way or another.

All children need to be guided to Jesus.

When our daughter Amy was turning six years old, it became apparent to us that maybe our friends didn’t realize that she was more like their children than she was different. So, we decided to host a birthday party for her. We invited 25 children. Yep. 25!!! And, they ALL came! Imagine 25 five and six year olds in one house. Add to that a few siblings and you can imagine that we had quite a party. We played typical birthday party games, lit candles on the cake, sang “happy birthday,” and 25 plus children helped her blow out her candles. Even though our daughter has CHARGE syndrome, looked a little different, couldn’t eat by mouth, or speak as clearly as their children, our message became quite clear. Our daughter enjoyed many of the same things her peers enjoyed.

Look also for the fun parts of your child’s unique personality.

When we focus on the individual child’s needs instead of getting caught up in the “can’ts or won’ts” of their labels, we will realize that kids with

  • Downs
  • Autism
  • CP
  • ADHD
  • Dyslexia
  • Charge Syndrome
  • And more

have lots of similarities.

They may have the same therapy needs.

They may have the same or similar capabilities.

They may have similar challenges with behavior, or speech, or school even with different labels and prognoses.

Just like “typically developing” kids, it has been our observation that children with different challenges also have:

  • similarities and differences
  • issues and abilities
  • some are introverts and some are extroverts
  • some are kids who love attention and some are kids who like to be observers

We needed to learn to see our Amy as Amy – a unique and beautiful individual, yes – and a child first and not as CHARGE.

We have learned to see other children who have challenges as individuals with so much potential.

Your entry into the world of special needs may be your child. You may only have experience with your child. We encourage you to look around and become aware of other children with different diagnoses. See them each as unique personalities. Look for similarities in them that are like your child even if they have a different label or look. If your child has autism, observe a child with Downs or CP or Dyslexia or ADHD or something else. You may see that they love to do the same things your child likes to do. You may see that they may also need speech therapy or ABA therapy or may have similar medical concerns or developmental concerns.

Opening your mind and heart to embrace other children whether they be typically developing or have totally different “labels” than your child, will give you and your child a whole new world of possibilities.

We are Tom and Julie and we stand ready to support you in your journey with a child with any kind of challenges.

With much love,
Tom and Julie Meekins




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