What Parents Mean When They Say Someone "Gets It"
*Originally posted January 15, 2020
If you have ever had a conversation with a fellow parent raising a child with special needs, you have either said this phrase or you have heard this phrase. It usually goes something like this, “We are so grateful for our son’s teacher this year. She really gets it.” Or, “We are getting together with extended family over the holidays and it’s always tough. They just don’t get it.” Parents in the special needs community immediately know what this means. It’s the fastest way to sum things up.
So what exactly does this mean?
It means a teacher who sees ripped paper and assumes frustration and not destruction of property.
It means a school administrator who hears profanity but sees an overwhelmed and frustrated child, not a “rude” one.
It means a soccer coach who sees a tantrum about socks and shin guards and patiently understands the need for more time to process the feeling of soccer gear.
It means a piano teacher who understands when you show up for lessons but your child cannot get out of the car due to the routine being different that day.
It means a religious leader who allows your child to sit with you to sing instead of forcing them to be up in front with the group.
It means a grandparent who sees you picking battles about food so that your child can be nourished that day.
It means an adult friend who listens to your child talk about the details of space travel and notices how it lights up their face.
It means a teacher who notices when your child asks for help after months of not being able to speak up in class.
It means a therapist who knows aggression is really dysregulation and the goal is to help a child feel connected and safe.
It means a teacher who sees your child's strengths AND your child's needs for support and believes that, yes, these varying abilities can indeed exist within the same child.
It means someone sees your child beyond their behaviors. They get it. And, they are now a part of your village.
Pass this on to anyone who needs to read this today.
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