Readers — I thought this was an interesting comment on the post about doing “everything” for our kids (and taking away the opportunity for them to learn how to do stuff themselves). “NT” is shorthand for “neurotypical” — i.e., a child without neurological difficulties. — L.
Dear Free-Range Kids: I see moms like this at my daughter’s school, where the lockers for the special-needs preschool kids are right across from the NT second-graders.
While the preschooler’s parents and TAs diligently work with our kids to
remind them of how to take off boots, jackets, put mittens in pockets
themselves, there’s another group of moms doing all this stuff for their
much-older children while they stand there like lumps of wax, arms out
expectantly. It’s amazing to me that we have higher expectations of our
three-year-old kids with special needs (mostly autism) than many mothers of
I’m hoping that one of these days, one of those mothers will glance over
towards us and maybe wonder why we’re working so hard to teach our kids to
be independent, and decide that maybe it’s time for her children to do the
same. To me, it looks like they’re working just as hard to handicap their NT
kids as we are to teach our autistic kids to learn basic skills. — Michelle