In the Eye of the Beholder

I observed an interesting phenomenon the other day. My nonverbal daughter often has problems making friends with other kids. They notice that she is different almost right away, so they back off or only play for a little while before moving on. Others are even afraid of her (for various reasons).

The other day, we were with a group of kids who are with my daughter often. I had dressed her in a beautiful little dress someone had given us. It was three-quarter length with a few sparkles on sheer fabric over a solid fabric. She looked like a little princess, with her long hair spilling down her back. That day, she was like a magnet. All the other kids told her how pretty her dress was and they wanted to play with her–even those who typically avoid her. It was like magic.

This whole thing was very interesting to me. I learned a valuable lesson–that making your special needs child beautiful can increase his or her acceptance among peers. Since then, I have made it a point to dress her extra nice when she will be among peers–even if it’s a little over the top for the occasion. If I can’t do that with clothing, I will at least try to do something special with her hair.

People are attracted to beauty–even if it is the superficial kind that comes from clothing and hairstyles. You can use that attraction to commend your child to others. Then maybe they will see the real beauty within your child.

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