She is not Weird. She is Wonderful and Happy.
Updated: Mar 25, 2022
During Developmental Disability Acceptance Month, we often focus on the amazing contributions those with intellectual and developmental disabilities bring to our communities. However, there is also a responsibility to use the platform of this month to challenge ourselves to be more inclusive, open, respectful, and to teach others to better themselves as well. Below is a quote from Mercy Home’s Director of Training; Kelly Nagey.
"If you are a parent, grandparent, godparent, aunt, uncle, mentor, teacher...if you interact with kids, PLEASE speak to them about children they may see who are not like them. That shy girl who is playing by herself, humming and flapping and enjoying life, does not need you to whisper to your friend/brother/sister that she
is weird. That little girl in the pool who is gleefully laughing and diving under the water because she is watching you jump in and out of the pool and who is watching you throw balls around might want to be included in your fun; she might only play for 5 seconds, go away, and come back, and that is okay. The little girl who is quietly watching you at the park and following everything that you do just wants to play, but she does not know how because nobody asks her...and because she likes to do her own thing, and sometimes she just wants you next to her, digging in the dirt. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE speak to the kids about the pointing, the whispering, the staring, and the "she's weird." She is not weird. She is wonderful and happy, loving, a jokester, and so much more. There needs to be more accepting of people who are different and it has to start somewhere. If you know your children are going to be around another child who you know is different, speak to them about that child first, so that the parents' hearts can stop breaking.”
Small conversations we can have with our loved ones, friends, neighbors, can drastically affect the experiences of others. What makes us different is what makes every single one of us special, those differences should not be stigmatized, they should be celebrated.