Earlier this week, I shared a story about an adult in charge of an art program who excluded a child with special needs for having, well, special needs. This happened despite having accepted the child with full disclosure from her mother that she would need a helper. Since a picture is worth far more than anything I could say, here is the self-portrait the child created with her new art teacher:
Thanks to the amazing art instructor who saw that even a child with special needs has talents, gifts, and feelings to express. I have a favorite quote from Pablo Casals that is always with me when I think of any child, and especially of a child with special needs:
“Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again. And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel? You must work, we must all work, to make the world worthy of its children.”
This marvel of a child now feels appreciated and valued for who she is and what she creates. Her joy, creativity, and pride have thankfully returned.
For more on this topic, see my original post Bullying is not always between kids.
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