As I write this, my son and I just came down from a meltdown he had in a place where he usually feels safe.
We, actually, have had several meltdowns in this place, but he grew from that stage of raw emotion into a more mature response of coping with his emotions. And it has been good. But, all it takes is one unsafe person (a wolf of sorts) to arrive at the doorstep of his safe place, and safety as he knew it unravels. Try explaining that to a special needs child who feels unsafe because he just sees the wolf continually showing up. And it scares him. He asks:
Why does he keep coming?
Why do they let him come?
When we try to stop him, why does he keep coming?
Why isn’t God hearing our prayers?
Special needs people feel things differently.
They perceive in their mind’s eye, circumstances, and feel these on a completely different level. They cannot filter out everything we can, and when bad things happen, they feel it magnified, because of their different sensory filters. The term for it is Sensory Disorder. And really, it is present in every special needs person.
When special people have a sensory disorder, they may hear things louder than normal, see things brighter than normal, things feel scratchier, and more bothersome than normal, things taste stronger than normal, and odors may be stronger than normal. Even worse, the more they try to control these inhibitions to be “not normal” the more they can seem to grow out of control. Consequently, they overrun with emotions of shame, fear and anxiety because they truly cannot control their emotions.
Then, you add the element of abuse, and well, emotions pile on top of sensory dysfunction.
I think we need to better understand how to be special needs.
We act as if we can fix a person whose brain is wired differently. Really, it is possible? I don’t think so. We are not God.
We can help some of these children cope better, but honestly, I think it comes down to our understanding of them. They are not the ones who can change, we are. They are not the ones who need to change, we are.Yes, we can help them cope better, but in the end, we are the change-makers.
God created our children just the way He wanted them and He said, It is good. I think it is time we said the same.