Yesterday was our holiday program. This is always a favorite event of mine. Not only do we get to see the hard work and efforts of our students and staff, but because this is a wonderful day to celebrate the uniqueness of each of our students. As I have touched on in the past, there was certainly a time when students like ours were not celebrated for “being different.” Quite the opposite, they were hidden away in institutions or stayed at home with their parents with minimal contact with society at large.
I’m glad to say that today, we live in a world where being different is not only accepted, it’s celebrated. No longer do we use the term “disabled,” but instead we focus on “different abilities.” I, for one, couldn’t be more pleased with these developments, because it reflects a great change in the attitudes of our society.
I’m confident that parents and teachers/therapists would agree with me that regardless of abilities, we learn special lessons from each of our children. It’s these lessons that provide us with a greater understanding and perception of the world around us. I’ve learned such special lessons from Ryan, and I am a much better person today because of that!
My new year’s wish is that this momentum of celebrating our differences continues to grow and be embraced by people everywhere!