Friday, April 30, 2010

The right to dream!

Today when I had taken Vignesh to OT, I had to wait for a while. There was Parent-Teacher meet happening in the adjacent room. In addition to providing PT and OT, the center also run a small special school and a few kids study there. Its a very small place but they are extremely committed in their work. Since the place was small, I couldn't help hearing the conversation that was taking place. Although, the parents were discussing simple things like numerals and day-to-day activities, their voices were filled with pride, dreams and the aspirations for their kids.

I remember an incident that happened last January. My son was not even 6 months old then. I had been trying to find a good therapist and was asking details from one of my close friends whose little cousin was undergoing PT for CP. All I wanted was a reference to a good therapist. But, when my friend calls back, she tells me how the therapist said that if I start early my son could be trained. So that when he grows up, I could set up a shop for him to work and take care of. And, she sounded excited about this! Excuse me! Doesn't this sound crazy to anyone or is it just me?

Why should people be discussing what my son would be doing for his living twenty years from now, just because he has special needs? And, why does she expect me to be excited even about the prospect of my son a job? I just wonder if this friend would be as excited when I tell her I'd set up a shop and wouldn't mind employing her children there too.

Its isn't about the nature of the job. Its about the attitude. That is when I began to understand how people expect you to stop dreaming once you have a child with special needs. I dreamt of so many things I wanted to achieve professionally and my parents had so many dreams about me too. And, I don't think I have fulfilled any of that. So, when they give chance to me, why shouldn't people with special needs be given a chance too? And, when my parents had a right to dream about my future, why shouldn't I do the same about my son's? Why should people talk about acceptance when I have high dreams about my son's professional future when the same people can dream about their typical kid's future even before they know what their kids are capable of?

The point is I do have all the rights to dream about my son's future. And, when my son grows up, he can choose a profession that suits his skills and liking. If my dreams come true, I would be happy. If not, I would be equally happy too about whatever he does, just as my parents are happy about me today.

I just hope that these people realise that our kids are too young for their advice or career guidance. And, if they really need them, we as parents can handle the situation without their help!


  1. Not long ago, when I was discussing my aspirations for Gabriel, his EA was quick to point out how she knew two people with Ds. One works at McDonald's cleaning tables and the other is a bagger at a grocery store.

    I had to stifle my disappointment.

    When I was pregnant with Gabe, Terry and I talked about how cool it would be if Gabe wanted to be a teacher. We never talked about him bagging someone's groceries.

    But this is what many people in society expect of Gabriel and his social status -- I'm not sure if these assumptions are even based on his ability, either. It's assumptions made on the fact that he's not "normal".

    Anyway, I support your feelings 100%, Sumi. You dream and dream BIG for Vignesh. Our children will learn from our examples and that's a great opportunity for ALL of us. ♥

  2. Yes, it just annoys me how people just judge our children. Its all so unfair!

    And, thanks Lee for the wonderful words. I would continue dreaming big...

  3. Hi Sumi,
    I chanced upon your blog while searching for information on children. I agree with you that people have no business in deciding what others kids should do when they grow up.
    That being said I think being an entrepreneur is great! (for anyone) Think of the people who set up their own ventures and employed hundreds of people.