Go the Extra Mile and a Half in Certain Cases
An Article written by Janet K. Irwin

Every so often a child will be presented for care that has extra special needs or has extraordinary "issues". I am not necessarily speaking about a special need identified child, I am speaking about a child who carries these "issues" due to adult generated behaviors and short comings. Sometimes I think of these as silent needs.

Perhaps, and luckily for these children, you are able to some how tune into these issues and "step up to the plate" on their behalf. I am not actually suggesting that you become an active advocate for this child, although that could be necessary in certain instances. I am suggesting you find a way to find a common individual bond for this child.

This bond might be something as simple as a regular game of Uno or Chess and the conversation that takes place while playing the game or it might be a regular shared piece of humor. There may be children that you have identified that are in dire need of an adult who can actually recognize the need to concentrate a concerted focus on them. The adults in their lives may have a plate that is too full, they may not recognize their child has "issue needs", or the adult may not be capable at a particular time to meet this most basic childhood need.

I am not suggesting that you become a surrogate for the parent. I am suggesting you just find small acts of "not so random" contact that will benefit a particular child. We have to realize that although it is tempting at times in certain instances to feel the need to parent this child, this relationship actually is quite different. This relationship should be a subtle but sustaining entity for this child.

I think that the proof of value in this positive relationship will show it's best when these children are approaching adulthood. I can think of no better thing to be in the eyes of a child now grown, that had "extraordinary issues", than a very fond memory.


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