Max has been the beneficiary of much goodwill over the years. But as he’s getting older, I’ve become aware that he should have a say in how he is treated in matters big and small. Last week, before prom, a nurse at his school emailed me telling to send in Max’s adaptive cup and utensils. Pretty standard. I asked Max if that’s what he wanted; he can drink out of standard cups and use standard spoons and forks, and I thought that he might just want to do that at prom. He did want to bring in a paper cup, but he wanted to use the utensils there. This wasn’t such a big deal, but that didn’t matter; he deserved to decide.
Me, I’ve struggle with well-meaning gestures, like when that woman at Dunkin Donuts gave him free donuts. I don’t want people to do things out of Max’s disabilities, because they are not to be pitied. But, heck, if he himself makes a conscientious decision to take those donuts, fine. And if he’s offered an accommodation but would rather do his own thing in his own way, even better.
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