Saturday, June 6, 2020

Special Needs?

Recently, I felt compelled to look myself straight in the eye and ask myself a sobering question: Am I a person with special needs?

It grates on me when people refer to cripples that way. I guess what I don’t like about special needs is it sounds too much like an apology. It makes us sound like we’re suffocatingly needy. On the other hand, it grates on me just as much when people do the opposite and say that cripples are just like other people. But the vast majority of other people don’t pee and or eat through a tube, like a lot of cripples do. So why should cripples try to pretend that we’re not different, unless being different is something to be ashamed of?

So maybe the fact that I ride around in a motorized wheelchair and pay other people to wipe my butt really does mean I am indeed a person with special needs. Maybe I ought to just admit and embrace it.

But upon further reflection, I determined that special needs doesn’t apply to me. Because first, it’s usually only used when talking about children. Nobody talks about special needs adults, unless it’s someone with something like Down syndrome, where it’s still considered okay to look upon them as a child. Children can be forgiven for having special needs. It’s not their fault. They’re innocent. But when you’re as old and hairy as I am and you still have special needs, it’s about time you got over it. Needy has become greedy.

I also determined why that special needs term grates on me. It’s because in order for something to be considered special, it must be compared to some norm. So what are normal human needs? They would be the needs that humans have. And some humans need to do things like pee and or breathe through a tube or pay other people to wipe their butts. So if that’s what they need and they’re human, then it’s a normal human need. It only becomes special if having this need somehow calls your status as human into question. To need beyond a certain standard allotment is to be extraordinarily needy.

Humans are a needy bunch. What’s wrong with that?

So I don’t want to call anybody a person with special needs. I just want to call everybody a person with needs. But that would be redundant.

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