The first time someone asked if my son was slow, I said, “At what?” Certainly they couldn’t be referring to his physical ability. At age three, he could out run most children twice his age, some even older. Before he could speak words, he could write clearly and beautifully. He was quick at figuring out things, like how to open the locked doors in the house; he broke an uncooked spaghetti noodle in half and for him, it became a key. He could type. Watching “Deal or No Deal” he could enter the numbers in a calculator exactly as they appeared. He could put puzzles together. He could tell you the make and model and parts of over fifty vehicles. He could dress himself, impeccably.
Slow? I don’t like that word, for my child, or any other child.
The danger of assumptions is that they operate without additional research or attempts. They easily become truth to those who willingly accept them. Assumptions are lazy and do nothing but feed the roaring beast that is stereotypes. I spent nearly an hour disassembling what this lady put together about children with special needs, different needs. No, they are not all incapable of learning or being successful socially. No, they are not all medicated because they can’t function otherwise. No, I do not have a false set of expectations nor am I in denial that my son will challenge every statistic that tells him what he can’t do. They are children first; human beings first. And every approach to life and learning should be handled from that perspective.