Just a Little Different

There is this weird gap between people with severe special needs, and people that are called NT (neurotypical) in the special needs world.  In this gap, you don’t fit in to either group. This is a place where you are just a little different.

In this place you are different from your peers.  And you are aware of this difference. Here you don’t qualify for special education services, so you don’t fit in with the special education crowd, but you don’t exactly fit in with your peers either. This is a place where your skills and talents are not recognized or appreciated.You are just a little different.

boy sitting next to a computer monitor

Maybe you get so excited you interrupt often.  Maybe your intelligence is so high you don’t have a lot in common with other kids your age.  Instead of having an actual conversation, you like to spit out random facts about your favorite video game or quote whole sections of comedy skits you think are funny.  From a distance it may appear as if you fit in. And for brief moments in time – maybe you do. But it’s a constant struggle for you to maintain relationships for very long.  You are just a little different.

In this strange place where you are just a little different, you know the right thing to do. But being impulsive means it’s twice as hard to think about the rules in the moment,  You are your own worst critic. You really want to do the right thing. To behave the way adults want you to – but it just doesn’t come into your head until after the fact. Other people think about things and weigh out the consequences before they act, it seems to come naturally to them.  But not to you. You are just a little different.

The hard part of all this is people who look closely realize that you are just a little different.  And people can be mean. Teenagers try so hard to fit in, they are often quick to jump on the bandwagon and pick at people they perceive are weaker than them. People who only have a few, if any, friends.  People who are just a little different.

white piece of paper with words written in messy printing

It may seem as if being one of these people is a hard road.  And it is. But there are bright sides too. You rarely need to study and almost never have homework.  Adults find you curious and clever. They enjoy having you in class because they know there is someone who will answer every question they ask, and even sometimes remember to raise your hand.  If they can decipher your handwriting, they will likely find an answer they haven’t seen before and maybe didn’t even anticipate. It’s not wrong, it’s just a little different.

Just a little different might look like impulsive, busy, active, and messy.  But just a little different might also look like imaginative, sweet, kind, loyal, clever and many other great things,  If you take the time to get to know these people, you might just find that just a little different, is a whole lot of awesome!!

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