In lieu of a spotlight today I'd like to share this really incredible TedTalk that was given by a 14 year old prodigy by the name of Jacob Barnett, who is currently on his way to a PhD in quantum physics. When Jacob was 2 years old he was diagnosed with severe autism and his parents were told he'd probably never talk. As you've likely deduced they were very, very wrong. Jacob's Ted Talk is all about how you need to "stop learning so you can start thinking" because the world needs us "to think in our own creative way." In short, he asks us to try and forget everything we think we already know.
You guys, that is exactly what I have come to learn when it comes to people with special needs and disabilities. Forget what you think you know about people with disabilities. Forget thinking they are a drain on our society or that they have "a lower quality of life" and for the love please forget the idea that being a special needs parent is synonymous with burden. And please don't think that I'm saying because this boy turned out to be a genius that is where his value lies... it's not. Many kids and people with autism will never have the abilities that this boy has, just as many people with disabilities will never do the things we think a valuable and contributing member of society should do. People are valuable because they are people. Period.
If you have 18 minutes check out this TedTalk and I promise you'll see things, and maybe even your own abilities in a new perspective today.
Have a great weekend!