Jim and I are teaching in our adult Sunday School class a week from Sunday. The class is going through a series on living with those who are differently abled and uniquely challenged, and we will be teaching the session on navigating education for your uniquely challenged child. As we’ve talked through some ideas, I have struggled with how much of what makes Logan uniquely challenged is appropriate to share. After all, my desire is for him to see himself as ‘normal’ rather than ‘different’ or ‘disabled.’ I don’t want him to use his unique challenges as an excuse or even a crutch. Yes, he has more challenges in his daily life than most of us, but he’s also got some incredible gifts that most of us don’t possess!
Anyway, as I was struggling with how much to share, I decided to ask Logan for his input. It is, after all, HIS story and HIS situation. So I did. And man was I blown away by this child’s answer. He thought for a few minutes, then said, “If you think it will help someone, Momma, then sure. Tell them whatever you want to about me. I just want other people to be helped by it.” My eyes filled with tears at the compassion of this little one.
We talked more when we got home, and it’s clear he truly understands what I am asking. He knows he doesn’t hear well…and he offered to let us bring his hearing aids to class in case someone needed to see them. He knows that he isn’t as coordinated as others, but he reminded me that with practice and patience he will eventually learn to do things like ride a bicycle. He pointed out that already he’s learned so much about his balance and his body placement in space just from being allowed to run and jump and play (and fall down!). He said that our encouragement to get back up and try again makes it easier. He knows that he struggles greatly with working memory and inhibitory control and almost all things academic (he’s severely dyslexic). He is, however, seeing the rewards of patience and time…and he is reading! He is doing basic math! He loves that we have the freedom to customize his learning to make it accessible for him, to help him achieve success. He wants everyone to see the kind of success he’s seeing right now, and if sharing his story and his ‘issues’ helps one family, then he’s all for it.
I can’t wait to see this boy grow up. His compassion and desire to make a difference will change his world forever. Just like he’s changed ours. And that’s a good thing. A VERY good thing.