Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Including kids with special needs in typical-kid activities
Last night, there was a fun activity at Sabrina's school involving a play, costumes and dessert. Max typically does not like crowded activities like this. So I decided not to take him. I came home from work, grabbed Sabrina and jumped in the car. As I pulled out of the driveway, Max was standing at the back door, looking at me with an expression that was part sad, part why-are-you-leaving-me-here-with-the-babysitter (Dave had to work late).
I couldn't stop picturing Max's little face the entire evening.
In situations like this, I'm often torn. I don't think Max would have enjoyed the activity, and if he would have wailed and cried it would have disrupted the event for Sabrina (and other people, too). But, who knows, maybe Max would have surprised me. I don't want to go through life leaving him out of stuff.
Years ago, I knew this one family with a disabled kid who they'd never take anywhere. He'd stay home with his caretaker, and the parents and other kids would go do their own thing. To me, this child never actually seemed like he was part of their family. I have this kid in the back of my head at times like last night.
I don't feel guilty when Dave or I take Max out for his own activities and Sabrina stays home. Starting in April, on Sunday mornings Max will be going to a baseball league for kids with special needs (yes, I am psyched!) and Sabrina won't be coming. That seems fine and right to me. So why do I give myself such a hard time about situations like last night?