Today I will be talking about the connection between love and special education. As I type this, I am flying back home after four days in Texas for a regional conference. I was falling asleep and started thinking about love and the incredible feeling of excitement that possesses me every time I think of my children. The very idea of hugging and kissing them me makes me happy and puts me in a mood of hope and faith. So, what does love have to do with special education?
My two children have Down syndrome, and because of that, my two children started their journey receiving early intervention services and will complete their educational paths with special education supports. Love has been a crucial part of the process for a couple of reasons:
- Love is the tool that gives you strength when you find yourself living a life that you never expected, a life you never dreamed of.
- Love is the inspiration that gives you the motivation to keep fighting even the most absurd battles, just to fulfill your responsibility to make that incredible human being happy. Everything because her or his joy feeds that incredible feeling of love in your own heart.
- Love gives you courage, strength, and objectivity. Even though sometimes love makes us misbehave and makes mistakes. Love is human, imperfect, and faces constant challenges. However, once you learn how to use its power and you focus on its abilities, love is amazing!
- Love sets the expectations and writes the goals for your children. Love empowers parents to believe that they are creating change and that every time they speak, they are defending their right to believe in their unique ability to make the world a better place for their children.
- Love is flexible. Love listens, accommodates, and modifies as needed. Love focuses on the child and we believe in its power to help him or her connect the dots to overcome their challenges with persistence, patience, and passion.
- Love is the heart of parents. Love is natural, organic, and like everything else around us, love evolves, learns through experience, is tough, sweet, believes in consequences and praises effort with more love. Love forgives and love believes that nothing is impossible.
- Love helps people learn a second language and even a third when it comes to special education terminology. Love pushes you to the limit and many times it makes you cry. Just because it doesn’t know how to settle for less than the loved one deserves.
- Love is the voice of wisdom when the noise around is trying to distract or limit you. Love whispers in your ear, “You can do it.”
- Love is holding your hand, even in those times in which you feel that no one understands you and you’re all alone.
Everything I am and all that I have achieved in this life is the reflection of love: the love that my children give me every day in every single action and reaction. In our interactions considered typical just as much as in the ones that many define as atypical, we find love. Love is strongly related to special education because, without it, those with special needs would not be where they are today. At the end, the final goal of our lives can be reduced to the simplest and most powerful word: Love.