Last night, I came across a documentary on PBS called I'm an Artist. I was hooked from the moment I found that show. It's about a school in New Jersey for special needs kids of all different levels, ages...and their preparation for an art show. The teachers were loving to each of the students and encouraged them to show their creativity. The art teacher's saying was, "There is no right or wrong in art." You could tell that the kids truly believed it and they created the most BEAUTIFUL pieces of art I think I've seen.
The kids on the show reminded me of my sweet Cameron. The teachers reminded me of the wonderful teachers that he's had over the years. Then it hit me: Cameron IS a special needs kid. (Yeah, it's not something that I've EVER really let sink in....) For his whole life, we've treated him like he was a kid who would catch up to his peers eventually...a typical kid. We've been rough on him, but only because we felt it best to train him the way you'd train a typical child. Here's what I realized: I need to treat him like the special needs kid he is.
I was reminded over and over of the story I posted on here a while back about going on a trip to Italy, but finding yourself in Holland instead. I've always treated Cam as if he would one day "snap out of it" or he'd suddenly "catch up." It's been recently that I've realized that Cam might not (probably won't) ever catch up. He may never be the kid I'd hoped he'd be, and I need to treat him accordingly.
I think treating him like a typical kid is beyond his level of skill, so I think treating him with extra patience and kindness and showing him that no matter what he does, it's still beautiful will go a LONG way.