Special-needs with concerned love
“Are you kidding me? My son speaks slowly, but how can you call that severe? Who taught you how to be a doctor?”
My mother is the principal of a specialized school that focuses on children with ADHD and autism. Her primary duty is to facilitate communication between parents and children who have been diagnosed with these conditions. For the past three years, she has given me the chance work at this school, exposing me to many frustrated parents. This is where I found out my inside passion deeply in my heart.
This screaming father had a child, diagnosed with atypical autism with amentia at the age of three. He could not utter a single meaningful word. When I handed the report to the parents, the dad immediately tore it up and furiously through the paper scraps into the doctor’s face. He slammed the front door of the office as he stormed off in a fury.
I’ve seen this over and over. My inside passion for the subject is my personal study of developmental disorders because of the need for increased general awareness of these conditions among parents and the public. The aforementioned father clearly failed to realize that slow speech could indicate autism spectrum disorder and the need for specialized learning options for the child to achieve his potential.
After that explosive episode, however, I wanted to take matters into my own hands and spread informational brochures to every parent on campus. My mom listened carefully and smiled as she asked me how I planned to make these pamphlets navigate the emotional touchiness that surrounds the issue. I paused and realized that I had not taken into account the parents’ emotions. I neglected the human side to these issues, which may never be solved with simple information; I had learned a lot about my favorite academic subject, but still lacked understanding about communicating that knowledge effectively.
Moving forward, I still want to educate parents who worry about their children on the autism spectrum. By making the information accessible from diagnosis through treatment, I will one day improve children’s lives by helping special-needs children with their treatments while respecting their parents.