What is it about the stigma of kids with disabilities that makes me try a little harder to make my son look his best? I do not want him treated poorly because of the way he looks, so the pressure is on to help him look the best he can. (I have always tried to keep his mouth and nose clean as he has fought against me!) Why is this more important with him than it was with his brother? It definitely is, though.
Now that he is older, we go ‘round and ‘round about the hair. The fact that he is a teenager and does not want me to style his hair, but wants to do it himself is a sticky situation (almost daily). He likes to comb it straight down into a line across his forehead. I can’t stand it and think it looks awful. I try to playfully get in one little brush swipe to the side, but he goes nuts! The way he styles it reminds me of those bowl cuts that people often give kids with Down syndrome. (Why does this happen???)
It is true that the way we are treated is often influenced by how we look. I think that many parents of children with special needs go above and beyond to help their kids look good because the cards are stacked against the initial perception of our children. Some would say that it is other people’s problem if they don’t like my son’s hair or the leftover lunch on his face. But the reality is, it is not. It becomes my son’s problem.