How to talk to your child about their friends with special needs: parttwo

Thanks for stopping by today! Last Wednesday, we started talking about a few phrases that are gaining traction around our house. These little phrases are helping us navigate conversations with Ellie about her brother and sister with special needs.  And my prayer, is that they help you navigate conversations with your children about their friends with special needs.  If you want to get caught up, you can read PART ONE here.

“What’s Ellie’s favorite color?”
“What’s Brooklyn’s favorite color?”

Ellie and I were sorting laundry as we discussed colors.  It sure is fun having a little sidekick.  She will eagerly come to the back room and want to “help.”  I hold up a shirt, and she will guess who it belongs to, then place it in that person’s basket.  She really does a great job unless she gets a bit distracted and starts dancing with the laundry or burying herself in the enormous pile of clothes.

But on this day, I think we both learned a bit more than just our favorite colors.

“What’s Jayden’s favorite color?”
She didn’t know, so I told her to go ask him.
And when she came back, she let me know that Jayden didn’t answer.

Insert second parenting moment.
Ok, so how do I navigate this one?

My first inclination was to tell Ellie that Jayden doesn’t talk.  In fact, that is exactly what I said, but luckily, she didn’t hear me me on my first attempt. 

I mean, we haven’t heard a WORD from the boy in years so it seems like the right answer upon first glance.  But, after some quick thought, I realized a deeper truth.  Jayden and Brooklyn DO talk.

Brooklyn talks with her hands. When given two choices, Brooklyn can let you know her preference by grabbing the desired item.  And if she doesn’t like it, she will also let you know with her hands!

Jayden talks with his eyes. If you give him choices, he can look at the one he wants.  They do it all the time with him at school.

So, I told Ellie, 

They CAN talk, 
they just use different body parts.
Reminds me so much of what Paul talks about in 1 Corinthians and Romans.  He compares a group of Christ-followers to a body with many parts.  And, just like our family, we all communicate differently but need one another to work as one.
We went and got 2 shirts. One blue and one green. I told Ellie to hold them up to Jayden and ask him again, but this time, instead of using her ears to listen, use her eyes.  She watched Jayden closely as she held up the two shirts as she asked, “Jay-Jay, what’s your favorite color?” 
“Mama, mama! Jay-Jay likes GREEN!!!”  



Let’s continue the conversation:


“What do you say when your child asks about their friend with special needs?”

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