I feel like I should add a note about one of the "Disability Red Flags" I wrote about yesterday. I do realize that what I regard as a kind of sickening sentimentality that some families seem to have about their "special needs" / disabled children doesn't necessarily reflect a bad or alarming parenting approach. Some people are just sentimental, and some people are not. I am not. It's not my thing. Really not my thing. For others, the sweet, spiritually-infused labels, nicknames, and ways of speaking are expressions of devotion, affection, and love. That's fine.
All I would ask, as a former disabled child, now a disabled adult, is that parents never forget that their child is a person ... not a symbol, not a test, not a delivery system for improvement in their character, not a challenge for them to overcome. Your child is a person, with his or her own thoughts, ideas, opinions, wishes, dreams, and potential. And one of the best things you can do for a child with a disability is help others to see them as a person, too, by how you speak about them.
End of sermon!