My friend’s son was whistling in class. The other kids were annoyed.
Another friend’s daughter drools a lot and other kids think it’s “gross.”
Some kids smell bad. Others make inappropriate comments. There are all sorts of behaviors that seem rude or antisocial or annoying. But what if they aren’t any of those things?
If there’s anything that I’ve learned from having a child with a disability, it’s that no one wants to be excluded. If there’s anything I now understand about having a child whose body and behavior often exceeds the boundaries of “normal,” it’s that no one is looking for reasons to be judged. No one wants other kids to shun them or laugh at them.
Everyone wants to belong. Everyone wants to be safe and loved and known and received.
Sometimes people drool because they have low muscle tone and it’s hard to keep their lips together. Sometimes people make noises because it helps them concentrate. Sometimes people lash out because they’re scared.
Love looks for an explanation. Love looks for a way to connect. Love looks for a way to move towards one another.
Learn more with Amy Julia:
- Embracing Our Common Humanity
- The Spectrum of Welcome: Moving from Exclusion to Tolerance to Inclusion to Belonging
- Meritocracy Is the Antithesis to Love | Plough Essay
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