This week somehow has become a week all about Special Needs.
Yesterday my husband and I attended the Sprout Film Festival. It is a weekend devoted to special needs with all kinds of movies and documentaries on the topic. We went to see a group of films on the topic "Who we are". The movies dealt with individuals with developmental disabilities trying to find themselves as they get older, whether it is through relationships, their affinity for sports or otherwise.
It was striking to see how adults who are high functioning sense and understand that they are being treated differently because of their disability, and that it truly hurts them. Definitely a lot of food for thought there.
My husband and I both loved a documentary about two boys, one with autism, one with Down Syndrome who love basketball and both scored for their teams in unbelievable moments that were caught on camera. Seems very apropos for Y who is obsessed with sports.
We have also arranged for a tutor to start working with Y on Jewish subjects. He started two weeks ago and it has been going very well. They learn aleph-beis and the weekly parsha. Y loves it and feels very proud that he is learning with a Rebbe.
Lastly, we are going to the yearly Yachad Shabbaton for Families of children with special needs. I love going because I always learn something new in the sessions and get to connect with others. I am hoping A. will gain something too, maybe by meeting some other siblings. I was actually asked if I want to be on a panel, answering questions but I said no. Public speaking is not really my thing...
On the same note, here is a link to an interesting article by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach about disability. It's called "Mental Disability is Not a Blessing". I agree with the basic premise, but still need to think about it some more. Thoughts welcome.