Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"does he look normal?"

To many of us in the special needs community, the word "normal" can be quite emotional. Really, what is normal? Each of us are so very different and that is what makes our world so interesting. From our looks to our personality, we each have our strengths and weaknesses.

(If you are wondering what words are appropriate, many people prefer "typically developing" or "typical." Otherwise, if your child is "normal"...does that make my child with disabilities "abnormal?")

So this question "Does he look normal?" was asked of me today during my treatment (for whiplash from car accident) at the chiropractor's office. Because of scheduling, I was with someone new and she was wanting to learn more about my life. When she asked if I did any heavy lifting, I briefly explained about Max. (Max has yet to grasp the concept of "holding on" and that makes for a very heavy 35 pound boy!)

She was genuinely interested and I appreciated her wanting to learn. However, it sure didn't feel very relaxing to be describing his disabilities during a treatment designed to decrease pain and tightness. When she asked "Does he look normal?", I simply replied that he is absolutely beautiful and truly perfect in my eyes. Again, I know she wasn't trying to be rude (not at all) but seriously, what kind of question is that? Then later, she asked if his mind was "normal." Ok, here we go again. I explained that he has significant delays but his happiness is incredible. And really, what is more important than our children being truly happy?

I quickly changed the subject after that and was able to once again focus on restoring my body's strength and comfort. Perhaps my body will be "normal" again very soon. :)


Crystal M. said...

Oh Amy, its hard to not take these things personally. I know I have had moments, and sometimes I hate explaining the same things over and over again but its the only way people will learn right?? You did great and I hope your stress and pains are doing better.
Crystal and Eva

ellen charge said...

normal that is one word that to me istn even normal there r those who say nromals jstu a setting on the washign machine others say nromal is jsut a word i beleive that we r all normal in our own way we all have our quirks even if its someone with out charge hugs and a happy new eyar to ylou all

Kurby Family said...

I'm glad you tactfully said things the way you did, hopefully she understood her approach was way off and she needs much educating. I hope you are feeling better. You don't need to go to the chiropractor for added stress and tension!

Brady Patrick Antaya said...


Your post and response to this physician is an inspiration. I am not sure I could have tactfully answered those questions without my personal thoughts getting in the way.

You are exactly right to say that it is more important that our children experience happiness above everything else. I admire you!


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