Hold your loved ones close this chilly holiday and remember that the gift of Dignity costs you nothing and can mean the world.
I have a love-hate relationship with labels. Labels such as “special needs” or “autism spectrum disorder” can open doors, spark compassion, and create community. But they can also change how you view a person. Knowing how someone is labeled can provide a false sense that you know what makes him tick, know her strengths, understand his limitations. Labels have an insidious way of blinding you to the individual. And it doesn’t just affect people outside the family. In order to be effective advocates within the school system, parents have to spend a lot of time focused on their child’s diagnosis and areas of need within the educational environment. As a result, our vision can become clouded and we can lose sight of our child’s often considerable strengths.
Square Peg is the antidote. It is a place where over the years I have seen my child’s courage and competence blossom. Where I have had the opportunity to see my child through the eyes of people who believe in him and value what he offers them. Where I have had the opportunity to examine my own assumptions and expectations and felt renewed clarity and optimism as a result.
I am immensely grateful to the folks at Square Peg, who don’t seem to be burdened by preconceived notions of what a person is capable of, for their treatment of everyone with dignity and respect, and for seeing the potential in each individual… and doing all that without fanfare or drama. And here’s the unique and very cool thing – this approach is in Square Peg’s DNA. It is not something they do, it is who they are.
We all sense this – the kids, the parents, the dogs, goats, and the horses – and because of it, wonderful things happen.
Your support keeps the wonderful things happening. Here’s how you can help.
One Reply to “Dignity and Respect – the Antidote”
Thanks for providing a place of compassion and caring in a world where external appearances are so overvalued. Wishing all of the folks at Square Peg–students, parents, volunteers, and staff–a new year full of the miracles that come when we let go of labels and treat each other with love and respect.