Once again I will be writing with absolutely no idea of where I am going or headed. Trying to sort through thoughts and feelings. I have a confession, or maybe it is a realization about myself.
Because Levi doesn't have a sign hanging around his neck that says, "I'm different. I have special needs." I feel like I have to pull out a neon sign and wave it around really fast and big in front of him so people don't feel awkward because awkward is just................. awkward. I can't decide which is worse! Having the sign or label that looks like a wheel chair or a walking stick or 'that look' that tells people, "Oh my goodness, what do I do! Awkward moment! Do I look at the person, do I talk to them, what do I do!!!!!" So usually, people freak and don't make eye contact and scurry along or they want you to know that they are cool with special needs so they make a point of showing you that they're cool and talk real slow and loud and well, duh! Just because someone is blind doesn't mean they're slow!!! Or, in Levi's case where he doesn't hold up a sign so people try to talk to him and then when he doesn't look at them or answer there is that lull.......... oh grief! Not the lull!!!! The awkward moment. Here it comes.......... either Levi will eventually mumble something or won't say anything at all and then here comes me! Go mom! Let's be the cheerleader and whip out the big neon sign and this is what I do. I talk to Levi like he's a baby!!!! It's my way of letting people know that he has special neeeeeeds. Seeeeee??? Isn't my son cuuuuute? Tell the nice lady thannnnnk youuuuuuu Levi! To which Levi mumbles thank you and well wasn't that fantastic of me to help the awkward situation.
There's no manual for parenting and there sure as heck isn't a manual for parenting a kid with special needs!!! I can't even give you the answer of what to do when you approach someone with special needs because they're all different! Pass gas or burp. Yup! That usually breaks the ice for em all. It's not like we can all do that though so once again, it is big question mark. How one approaches Levi would be totally different from how we'd approach someone else!
I think I'll make Levi a big sign to hang around his neck like the pan handlers. "Hi! My name is Levi. I have special needs just like you!" Because aren't we all special? And different and have needs?