My Response to Ellen Stumbo’s “7 Ways to Help a Special Needs Family”

Ok, I’m going to go out and disagree with another blogger.  That is scary in bloggy land, but here I go, because this is an important discussion to have.

There are some things that Ellen Stumbo writes with which I very much agree.  I liked what she wrote about her experience choosing to adopt a child with special needs.  I wish adoption was seen as more of an option in our society, and I’m glad she wrote that article for National Adoption Month.

This article by Ellen Stumbo, however, about ways to help special needs families, makes me deeply uncomfortable. She starts by asserting that “we are no different than you”, but then goes on manufacture a host of differences under the “special needs” umbrella. She conflates special needs and disability, while making inaccurate generalizations about both. She suggests that special needs families need meals, babysitting, even gift cards. Read the rest of this entry »