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Why I Hate Being a, "Special Needs", Mum!

Laura Moore by Laura Moore Additional Needs

Laura Moore

Laura Moore

Mum to William, the coolest kid in town (who happens to have quadraplegic cerebral palsy). Campaigner, blogger, baker and general fixer.

The reason I hate being a special needs mum is because I am not.

To be a special needs mum would mean I would need to have a child with special needs.

But I don’t.

You see although my son has cerebral palsy and visual impairment, his needs are not, "special".

And to imply they are would mean that other people’s needs aren’t, which could be slightly offensive to everyone else couldn’t it?

He has ‘needs’ just like every human being does, no more, no less.

You see, we all have the same fundamental needs.

Nutrition, hydration, shelter, human interaction etc. and regardless of ability or disability, we all meet those needs in different ways.

When it comes to nutrition some people eat well, others don’t.

Some eat more sweet foods some eat more savoury.  Some eat a lot of fruit and veg, others live on fast food.

My son’s nutritional needs are the same as other peoples, but the way in which we meet those needs is a little different to others.

He can only eat pureed food, nothing special about that, some people only eat beige foods!

When it comes to hydration some people drink water, others reach for the soft drinks or fruit juices, tea, or coffee.

But lack of fluids will result in all of us having similar side effects, headaches, tiredness etc because our bodies need to be kept hydrated.

My son’s hydration needs are the same as other peoples but the way in which we meet those needs is a little different.

He has his fluids via a gastrostomy because he isn’t very good at swallowing, nothing special about that, some people drink from a straw, some drink from a mug.

When it comes to human interaction, we all interact with people in different ways.

Some people are very social and will speak to anyone, others are shy and prefer to only interact in small groups.

Some like to speak on the telephone, others hate it.  Some are social online and others prefer to speak face to face.

But regardless of how we interact with other people, we all need to have human company.

My son's need to interact with people is the same as everyone elses but because he cannot talk he interacts by using sounds or smiles, nothing special about that, some people talk a lot, others don’t.

Have I made my point yet?

I cannot bear the term, “special needs”, it implies that one person’s needs are more important than another's, but they aren’t.

They are the same needs, they are just sometimes met differently to others.

To refer to my son as having special needs is incorrect.

And, because he doesn’t have special needs, I am not a special needs mum!

Besides, my needs are no more special than any other mums are, I need chocolate, gallons of tea and a good night sleep just like all Mums!

Do you agree with Laura? We'd love to hear your thoughts and views!


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