Have you been thinking about popping the BIG QUESTION, but you’re trying to muster up the courage to pop the question, or better yet, you’re wrestling with how to pop the question? Every time you see that person, you want to ask them the question, but you just don’t know how.
Similar to asking someone’s race or ethnicity, if they’re single or married, many people want to know what’s wrong with your child? What disability does he/she have? Were they born like that? How did it happen? From my own experience, many inquiring and/or nosey minds have asked questions about Super Mighty Max’s health and to be honest, some folk just have no etiquette or tact. Their questions come off at times as insensitive, rude, inappropriate, nosey, and genuinely caring.
Therefore, to help those who want to ask the parents of a special needs child or the person with special needs, what’s wrong with your child? What disability does he/she have? Were they born like that? How did your disability happen? My wife and I, have compiled a list of 5 Questions to ASK yourself before you POP the Question, and ask about someone’s disability or special needs.
- Do I really want to know what their special need or disability is? Have you ever stopped to think about why you want to know their disability? Are you asking just to make conversation? Are you just being nosey? Do you really care what’s going on with the child or that person? I’ve found out that some folk just want to make small talk and lazily make conversation without putting much thought into their questions.
- Do I have a relationship with the parents? I truly believe in relationship equity. The stronger your relationship with a person, the more they’re willing to share with you, and you with them. However, there are some questions that a stranger just shouldn’t ask another person, because it’s none of their business!
- Would I understand if they told me? Let’s be honest, disabilities tend to have long and wordy names that are hard to pronounce, and even harder to explain. So, if I told you what was wrong with my child, would you understand he condition and would you take the time to listen and learn about it?
- What will I do with the information? So, if the parent shared their child’s disability with you, now what? Will you have more compassion for the parents and child? Will you offer baby sitting services? Will you look to be an advocate for the child? Do you possess information or access to resources that will benefit the child and the family? Will you pray for the family?
- Am I asking to listen or am I asking to respond? When some people ask about your special needs child, they truly are concerned with the well-being of the child. However, there are too many times, when people feel the need to respond by saying, “Oh, don’t worry God’s going to work it out. Your child’s going to be a miracle, I can feel it! They will be just fine, my cousin’s auntie, nephew’s son has the same thing, and they’re doing just fine.” Sometimes, it’s better just to listen, and let the experts and/or parents who have traveled this road to offer the advice.
So, remember, before you POP the Question, make sure you first ask yourself the 5 questions listed above.