Understanding Children With Special Needs


Children with special needs are looked at as being different. And because of this, they are often left out of things.

Many people aren’t teaching their kids about other children who are born with special needs. But the crazy part is it seems like children have a better understanding of disabled people than adults.

Growing up my mom always taught us that no one is the same, but we’re all human. And not everyone can help their situation.

Whether it be a kid coming to school in dirty clothes and/or shoes or a kid in a wheelchair. It didn’t matter what the situation was she told us we had to treat them the way we wanted to be treated. And because of that, I do the same with my children. It’s not because I happen to have a child who is disabled but because it’s the way I was taught.

A lot of times children are going to be curious when they see someone in a wheelchair or using special equipment to walk. And when they ask questions, rather than get mad, it’s something you should explain because maybe it’s not something that they’re being taught. And to be honest, a lot of people probably don’t teach their children about our children because they’re not around someone with a disability often.

My friends always talk to their children about my son, Jaylen. They want their children to be comfortable around him. They don’t want them to be afraid of him or feel as though they can’t talk and play with him because he can’t do the things the way they do.

The best feeling in the world is watching their kids love on my kid. They talk to him as if he’s answering them back. They know that although he’s nonverbal, he completely understands. 

I also love it when we’re out and they explain to other children what’s wrong with Jaylen. His sister is so quick to tell people you can speak to Jaylen because he understands although he probably won’t do anything but scream at you. She loves to see him happy and being included.

My wish is that more people will talk to their kids about children like Jaylen. Let’s help our kids understand children with special needs so that they not be afraid, laugh, or bully them.

How do you make others more aware of children with special needs?

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Marissa was born in Charleston, South Carolina on Sept, 27, 1986 to James Sweat and the late Tracy Graham. She is the youngest girl of six, two sisters and three brothers. She grew up in Holly Hill, and graduated from Holly Hill Roberts High. Marissa furthered her education at Midlands Technical College, receiving a certificate in Early Childhood Education in 2017 and an associate degree in Early Childhood Education in 2018. She has been married for seven years to her husband Terence Evans. Together they have three children (Jaylen, Jada and Ny’Asia Evans). Her oldest and only boy, Jaylen, has cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and autism. Marissa and her husband are also the founders of the movement #Dontstare which is to raise awareness to how rude staring can be.


  1. I love how the world is starting to realize that we need to start accommodating people with disabilities. Stores like Target is starting to make adjustable clothes for children with CP and show brands such as UGG are starting to make accommodations for their customers who struggle to wear their boots.


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