"Well, I really enjoyed getting to know T. better," he said. "He's really intelligent."
"Yes, I know," I said. Frankly, I was a little annoyed with him for saying that. It pushed my "intellectualism" button, that only those with lower "intelligence" need special programs, that we, as a culture, value traditional intelligence above all else. On and on I could go, but you get the idea.
My husband continued,"I said to T., 'You're really smart, T., that's one of your strengths.'"
T. replied, "Thanks. You know, Wil has strengths, too."
"He sure does," my husband agreed, "what do you think some of them are?" he asked T.
"Well, friendship, for sure. He's really strong at relationships."
My husband was blown away that not only had T. identified that in Wil, but clearly valued it.
Wil has a million strengths, but if I had to pick one and throw away the rest, I'd keep "strong at relationships."
Carrie is a parent and advocate of a child with special needs and even more special gifts. She blogs at http://carrielink.blogspot.com/ where this is pretty much her favorite topic. Carrie’s book, WIL OF GOD: Embracing the Relentless Love of a Special Child, is available in print on Amazon and all e-readers.