I am the mother of a beautiful little girl who just happens to have some different needs.
My daughter is strong and smart and kind.
She is curious and fun and stubborn.
She likes dessert better than dinner and can read the emotion on someone’s face in an instant.
My daughter makes me laugh every day and she would make you laugh, too, if you spent time with her. I guarantee it.
She is my “mini me” in so many ways it is amazing and a little eerie at times.
I see my daughter every day of her life.
I mean, I truly SEE her.
I see her heart. I see her abilities. I see her potential. And as a mom, my biggest wish for her is that others do the same.
Forget “special needs”. Forget her labels and diagnoses. Yes, all of them have their place, and I am truly grateful for the information we have about her differences. Labels have helped guide interventions and have given us insight into what makes her who she is so that we can understand and help her better.
But above all of that, the bigger picture needs to be seen.
The possibilities – not the limitations – need to be seen.
My daughter, as a whole person, needs to be seen.
All kids with differences need to be seen.
Please remember this the next time you meet a child who may walk differently, communicate differently, or learn differently than yours.
Please keep your mind open, and put yourself in the shoes of that child’s parent. Imagine what they must see.
Then I hope that you can see all of that, too.
Mia Carella is a stay-at-home mom and writer who lives with her husband and their two children. She likes reading, napping and spending time with her family. She dislikes cooking, cleaning and adulting in general, but absolutely loves being a mom. Her work has been published on Scary Mommy, Babble, Love What Matters, The Mighty and more. Read more on Mia's website, www.ThisMomWithABlog.com, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.