Scarred Joy is turning a corner, as it were, regarding regular posts. Blog entries, for the most part, will now focus on what society has labelled, “special needs.” I will primarily be referring to families, that is, parents and grandparents, raising children who live with such challenges as autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, etc. A family having experienced the death of a child may also be considered as having special needs.
The edginess and frank content of my posts will remain. We will be dealing with various issues, etc. that come with families living with special needs. A goal is to raise awareness of the disabilities of our society, as it perceives people with “special needs.” We will also from time to time note the wonderful accomplishments of people with special needs.
A number of people have already encouraged Scarred Joy with this refocus. I’m thankful for such positive vibes I have received. There is a confession I have to make, however, before I go on. I confess I don’t know what to say.
I say this due to the fact I’m not an expert in the area of “special needs.” I am a mere student. While there may be professional type people who are regarded as experts, I’m not one of them. I don’t learn what I may know about “special needs” from books or listening to a professor or instructor who teaches courses on “disabilities” etc. They have their place, of course, but they aren’t the experts who teach me.
Real experts, people who live in what I call the “world of special needs”, teach me. The real experts I refer to are my daughter and her husband as well as their friends who live in the same world. My real experts also include my grandchildren who are labelled as children with “special needs.” Through such people I am given an idea of what living with “special needs” is like.
As I write I am asking myself questions like the following. Is “special needs” the correct term or is it merely acceptable. I mean, who decided to coin the term “special needs” and it becomes part of everyday language?
In my reading I have seen such terms as “retarded” or “mental” or “special ed” or “spastic,” are words of a mean nature today. The more enlightened ones who shun such derogatory terms do not use them. This begs another question, “If I have to use a term other than “special needs,” what do I use? You see I don’t know what to say.
Well, as you read this message you might ask, what does “Scarred Joy” mean? Scarred Joy is a term I came up with, to in some way capture the fact people move forward in their lives in spite of suffering. You may know of similar terms or words for this. I also use this term, Scarred Joy, when I think of families who live with “special needs.”
You don’t have to agree with me but this is how I see it. With “special needs”, there is a constant companion throughout life. This particular constant is what I call, Scarred Joy. Those with “special needs” carry scars throughout life, often caused by other people, that remind them they will always be considered “different”, not “typical,” “not the same” as “normal” people.” In spite of being known and noticed for their “differences,” they, for the most part, carry on with their lives in a Scarred Joy manner.
I say all of this because I don’t know what to say. What I mean is, I don’t know what to say when I write in this blog being dedicated to families with “special needs” as a significant part of their lives. I am open to “special needs families” teaching me as the blog continues. I invite such family members to please follow Scarred Joy. I will cherish your feedback and input into the content of this blog.