We’d like to show the side of the world you don’t normally see on television.
I have worked for about 15 years as a business administrator of 2 business entities in the field of rehab of children with special abilities. We provided home care and care in the school setting. What i have seen is that the younger the classmates of the special child are the less discriminatinng are against the special child. In the elementary schools the special child was facing ridicule from only few of his classmates - the usual bullies who were bullying all the children whether they had disabilities or not. The problems starts when the child attends junior high and they escalate during high school. This period is very critical for the special child. All the parents must instill to their kids that they must be gentle and helping the children with special abilities or disabilities.
A special child has also a special soul. A spiritual advanced soul that chose to incarnate in a special body and live a difficult life in order to advance further spiritually. A side effect of this is that he/she leaves an imprint on the hearts and minds of the people he comes in touch with. This child provides food for thought that it is useful for our spiritual progress as well.
When i was growing in Athens, Greece I had 2 friends with disabilities. Anna had Down's syndrome. John had mental retardation and physical problems. But when we were playing out in the street we did not discriminate against Anna or John. Of course many a times we were looking the other way in order to help Anna or John win in a certain game. Anna was a very sweet being. Unfortunatelly once she reached puberty, her illiterate mother imprisoned her inside the house and Anna left her body before the age of 20.
John, was lucky because he had loving parents and siblings who did their best to help him and took him to the best of doctors to correct a problem on his knees. He underwent various operations that enabled him to walk independently. Eventually though, as he grew older he needed to walk using crutches and now he walks using a walker. John is one of my best friends. We really can't have a conversation like I have with my non-retarded friends, because John has the mental state of a 7 year old child. But John has a very good soul. This is expressed through his constant smile and his calm, strong eyes and when he looks at me i feel his eyes are piercing me trying to reach the real me, inside. John is not aware of this of course. John is religious and he loves Jesus. When I visit Greece I visit him and we discuss various subjects that he can understand but eventually we end up talking about Jesus. I love being with John because of the goodness of his heart and his aura.
Anna and John have left an imprint on me and I have become a better person.
Another case is that of a relative of mine who gave birth to a boy who when he was in the elementary school failed the first grade. When I and my wife heard this we knew right away that the child had a learning disability and flew to the city my relative was living and we went straight to his school and questioned the princiipal why the teacher did not send the kid to special education when the kid was in the first months of the first grade. He said that the teacher informed the special ed department of the school board but there was no available occupational therapist because there was only one OT visitng a different school each year and that she was in that school 2 years ago and that she would not come back for another 5 years. I immediatelly took the kid to NYC where he went thru various tests and assessments which proved that the kid had an exceptionally high IQ but he had an auditory problem and he could not assimilate auditory stimuli as fast as most people did but when he was reading he could assimilate faster than children of his age. I took him back to his country and I went to his school principal and i explained to him what was wrong with the kid and the principal repeated again that the OT would be in that school in 5 years. To make the story short I had to threaten the school board that I would defamate the city and the country until my last breath if they did not help the kid. Eventually they agreed to hire one more OT for the kid. Did the kid receive special education? NO... Because his mother did not want her child to be characterized as a "loonie" by her friends, as she told me. I translated into Greek tons of information about the problem of the child, how it can be corrected and what would happen to him if his problem was not corrected. She refused to allow her kid to be put in special ed. I and my wife offered to take the kid to NYC so we give him the proped help. His mother refused again. We even offered to adopt the child. She refused. The result? The kid is now 26 years old and he is deppressed and unemployed. He does not have friends and spends his days playing pc games. His illiterate mother never realized what a treasure brought to this world and she did not help her son to live a descent life on the contrary she codemn her son to live a miserable life. This kid is my nephew and godson. His mother is my sister.
So I believe we should be helping these special souls who chose to incarnate in special bodies and all of us will gain both spiritually and physically from this interaction. But if we act negatively, then our suffering is a sure thing.