2 hours ago
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Group therapy: Would you let your son with special needs go to a dance with this girl?
It's that time of year when we're going to start seeing those viral videos in our Facebook feeds of the girl/boy with Down syndrome crowned prom king and queen. I have a son with disabilities. I just heard from a teacher at his school that a "sweet" girl in his grade would like to ask him to the middle school formal, and that she would like the teacher to record him asking her. The teacher thinks it's amazing. I truly am interested in other mom's opinions because I know I can be kind of cynical.
My son is a great, well-liked kid who doesn't need community service or to be the star in a viral video. He doesn't even know this girl. When we talked about the dance, which he wants to go to, I asked, "Do you want to go with a girl or your friends?" He said, "My friends." I said, "Well, what if a girl asked you?" and he said "I'd say 'yes'" but he's likely forgotten all about this.
He loves going to school dances and wearing a tie, and he'll have an amazing time regardless. However, since I've never heard from this girl as someone who might like to connect with him outside of school, I just have to wonder about the motive and whether it's more self-serving "I'm doing a good deed and including the kid who stereotypically doesn't get included."
Although I like the thought of him going to the dance like a "typical" kid, he's still going to need help. When he went to a dance earlier this year, so did others in his class and so the teachers and helpers were there to handle bathroom needs and helping him buy snacks. I'm not sure who would do that if he's just with this girl (I've reached out to the teacher).
Still, my point is that he will need help whether or not he goes with this girl so in the end, I don't think he'd gain any extra independence going with her. I am leaning towards responding no and saying that my son will save a dance for her but prefers to meet up with friends—except I'm just not sure.
This mom would appreciate your thoughts—weigh in below!
Posted by Ellen Seidman at 6:35 AM