I know those who have special needs or care for individuals that are disabled want a world that is inclusive. We want to live in a place where those who have special needs and those who don’t, live together in harmony. We desire a world where no one is labeled “special needs, disabled, or different.” I totally agree with everyone on this issue. However, I must say, I wish that there where things exclusively for my child and other children with special needs.
Over the years I have encountered many issues, that made me want to scream. I would sit alone and ponder, what could make Nate’s life (and mine) better. And of course, I’ve come up with a long list of things that would make me happy. However, not to make this post long, I’ve shortened it to three things that I would love for my child.
1- I want a Travel Agency or Airline to cater to those with special needs. – My son and I have flown numerous times and during our travel there have been good times and horrible times.
Such as the time, we were returning from a trip and the TSA wanted to do a security check on my son. This wasn’t a good idea, because Nate was in his wheelchair, as he is unable to stand for long periods of time. He was also having one of his self-stimming moments. His hands were flapping and he was playfully hitting himself in the head. Yet, the TSA employee continued to tell me that my son needed to be checked, as well as his wheelchair. So we complied, as not to stir up the airline and become a segment on world news.
I would also, like a resort that was dedicated to families that have children with special needs. One that was fully handicap assessable and had technology that could help children navigate their surroundings. We have been to a number of resorts that were handicap accessible, but were lacking in other areas for a person that is deaf and blind, as Nate.
2- I want an adaptive toy section in a toy store. – During the early years of raising Nate, it was difficult to locate toys for him. My only option to look for toys, was through specialty catalogs provided by Nate’s teacher or therapists. Or, I would go to the internet, which could be difficult, looking through the descriptions to evaluate if a toy was right for my son.
It would be great to have a retail toy store that offered a section with adaptive toys, games, and more, for children with special needs. This would allow parents to test or try out a device to see if it was developmentally appropriate for their child.
3- I want more childcare providers or daycare facilities that specialize in caring for children with special needs. – As I was raising Nate, this was one of my major issues. There were few or no childcare providers that cared for children with special needs. Thankfully in the early days, Nate’s early intervention program had one on site. It was very helpful for us during that time. Nate would go to his program in the morning, then afterward, attend the daycare for the remainder of the school day.
Sadly, that facility closed, due to lack of funding and we were unable to locate another daycare that specialized in caring for children with special needs.
I hope one day, there will be airlines, hotels, and resorts that offer a friendly atmosphere to individuals with special needs. I long for the day that there will be a section in a toy store with adaptive toys and equipment for children with different abilities. And lastly, I hope that one day we will see more childcare facilities that care for children with special needs.
Providing these services for individuals with special needs will not only show them that they are cared for. It will also show them that they are…… included.