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. :)