We can’t always get what we want, but sometimes we get what we need

June 7, 2010 at 6:15 am 7 comments

     Fair doesn’t mean that everyone is treated the same, but that everyone gets what he deserves and needs.

     I don’t remember where I came across this sentiment, but I remember the day I did. It was the first day this year that C wore his hat to school after opening the wound on his head for the zillionth time in the two years since it first appeared. As he walked nervously onto the playground that morning, he was the brunt of a rude comment from his frienemy.

     “Why does C get to wear a hat when I don’t? I never get to wear a hat to school! IT’S NOT FAIR!” he exclaimed in his own version of a tantrum for which I had no patience. C started to cry, and I wanted to unload all of my frustration upon this child who torments C nearly as often as he is nice to him. Is it fair that C has this compulsive skin picking disorder that leaves him scabbed and scarred? Is it fair that C has to be friends with a child I would, under different circumstances, ban from our home simply because he is such a terrible friend? Is it fair that I had to leave a crying child at school simply because if I took him home in that moment, he might never return? 

     Somehow that day, I found the statement I quoted above. It has meanings on so many levels for our special children: not the least of which applies directly to the special education services they so desperately need. Now we have hat privileges written directly into C’s IEP so that we don’t have to jump through any hoops next time around.

     Even the title of my blog, What We Need, has meaning on so many different levels. I’m still not sure, two and half years after starting this blog that I have solved the question of just what it is we need. And I’m not sure  C received what he needed on that particular day when his so-called friend made him cry before they even walked into the building. Yet somehow I did when I stumbled across the real meaning of fairness on that day when I needed it most.

     Here’s hoping that C, and all others like him, gets exactly what he deserves and needs.

Entry filed under: autism. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

State of mind Breaking bread and bridges

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. tiredmama  |  June 7, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Beautiful! I am in tears.

  • 2. therocchronicles  |  June 7, 2010 at 5:45 pm


  • 3. abbyschrad  |  June 7, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    Amen. I just wish I knew what my kid (and your kid) needed. That is the problem, isn’t it?

  • 4. Caitlin  |  June 7, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    I’ve heard that saying before as well, and it’s really very profound in a down-to-earth sort of way. Stop crying foul if you’ve already got what you need. It applies to so many situations in life (and politics, but that’s another story).

    We have a frienemy over here too. Lives a few houses down and is a few years older. Had Simon in tears today – said he wanted to play, then pulled the “I’d rather play with this other neighbour and you’re not allowed in her backyard, see ya” trick. Cruel childhood stuff.

    The best I could do was listen, hug, and offer ice cream for supper and chicken for desert. That seemed to help, in the moment at least 🙂


  • 5. Robin  |  June 8, 2010 at 8:06 am

    I would like to smack that kid for you and for C. OK, not smack really, but you know…

    I hope that C finds the confidence to not only stand up to kids like that, but to recognize that what he needs is different from what others may need and that if they don’t get it, he certainly doesn’t need them. I wish my kid would’ve been at school with yours that day. He wore a hat for weeks last year (a bright yellow spongebob hat too) and he would’ve loved to have seen his friend in a hat too.

  • 6. robinaltman  |  June 8, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    So annoying. I can’t stand frienemies. They’re always around somewhere. I even have my own frienemy at work. We’ve been friends forever, and I really love her, but she always gives me these little digs, and I don’t know why. Once she asked me if I hide behind my weight. I’m like 10 pounds overweight. Give me a break.

    I hope C wasn’t to upset by his own frienemy.

  • 7. embracingspirit  |  June 8, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    Sometimes the most challenging thing is for others to recognize the need……


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