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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Just Because My Son Is Mentally Disabled, It Does *NOT* Give Him A "Free Pass".

For the most part, my son is a perfectly abled child, physically. Mentally, he is slow in maturity, behavior and socialization. As a plus though, he is highly advanced educationally. He can be funny and VERY loving, and sweet. But he can have severe mood swings and violent tendencies...Especially during a trigger moment. Like being told (much more than once in a ten-minute period) to do something, such as clean his room or put something he used away.

I'd been reading a discussion in a group I am a member of about a child with ADD/ADHD and the mom was wondering if the punishment had fit the crime. Some said that (basically because of the child's disorder) the child should get a second chance...

For me, this is a no-brainer. I'd say let my son suffer the consequences. And he has, several times in the past for different things. Mainly for disorganization and forgetfulness, although was REPEATEDLY told to be sure he had all that he needed for whatever it was.

Plus, I have done the same with his two sisters. Even the five-year-old. If they don't have everything they need to be prepared or to be able to do what they want to do (like trips or other outings), then that is on them.

Just because my son has been legally deemed disabled, it does not deem me to give him specialized treatment, or to let him slide when his sisters cannot. I treat all three of my kids just the same. They may get punished a bit differently, being I know what works on each INDIVIDUAL child. But otherwise, they are treated fairly and equally.

I'm tired of hearing, "Johnny can't do that because he has ____", or "Mary should be given another chance because most likely it's her ____ making her forget".

Stop using a child's disability as a CRUTCH. Not just for them to get away with what neurotypical (mentally up to date) children cannot. But, also not to excuse a child's behavior, especially when you know that they can do MUCH better.

Yes, this may be making me sound harsh, and even like I'm a bitch. But I grew up "legally disabled" and my own mother put MANY limitations on me because of my problems, although I was physically (for the most part) and mentally capable of doing MOST of what any other kid could do. And it made for my childhood to be pretty boring and lacking...And I will never get a do-over. Why PUNISH my child in the same fashion?

Special Needs children (especially those with mental disorders and behavior disorders) NEED to be treated "like anyone else" and need a "normal child's" structure. That includes clear and set rules and consequences. If you treat him or her differently from their peers and/or siblings, they WILL know and be resentful. They want to be 'normal' like any other kid. And this includes punishment.


dot said...


singedwingangel said...


Neva said...

I agree with you 100% ... Except for your MOSTLY boring childhood. With the Duge sisters living behind you, how could you possibly be bored? Hahahahaha! We got into so many scrapes together!
And cut your mother some slack ... you were her only child (whom she had later in life) and you almost freaking died like a million times before you were even old enough to go to kindergarten.
All that aside, you are correct that children who are coddled and babied tend to resent that they were coddled and babied when they get older. You are a good mom.

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