Challenge,  Christmas,  Family,  Gratitude,  self-care

Day 17. People with Special Needs Remind of What’s Really Important

Do you know someone who is differently abled or has special needs?

If there’s anyone whom we can take a life lesson in appreciation from, it’s special needs folks.

Some people might look at people whose brains function a bit differently than the majority of individuals, and be apt to judge them or dismiss them due to their slower approach to living.

The truth is that families who have been touched by special needs in such a way have discovered that these folks have much to teach us about celebrating life and living in the moment. I have a daughter with special needs so I can attest to this!

Your experience with special needs individuals can be profound and life-changing if you open your mind and allow their hearts to speak to yours.

Exercise 17: Engage With A Person Who Has Special Needs.

If you have never been around people who are developmentally disabled, then you may benefit from volunteering at a special needs facility (when it’s safe to do so). You could also attend an event where you can interact with these gentle folks who wear their hearts on their sleeves.

We know that special needs folks need us. But what we may not realize is that we need them just as much.

In a world of frenzied activity, where people withdraw from each other while hiding behind their technology, it’s a blessing and a privilege to engage with a person who has special needs.

How to Engage With People with Special Needs:

Dance and sing. Most everyone loves music, and special needs people are no exception. Do you adore singing and dancing? Are you tired of stuffy individuals who hold you back from fully immersing yourself in this pleasure-filled activity? Then you’ll thrive in the presence of these folks who probably love the same music and will express it. Attending a special needs dance, where everyone is free to become one with the music, may just be the best thing you ever do in your life.

Create. Every human has a creative side. If you spend time guiding special needs folks through activities such as drawing, painting, sculpting, and other art forms, you’ll find that their talent and knack for expressing themselves through creativity abounds. Life can be difficult when you’re differently-abled. People are apt to misunderstand you or pass over opportunities to get to know you. Art is a healthy way for these folks to bring their emotions to the surface and heal.

Play sports. For many of us, sports don’t need to be a competition (although they certainly can be, even for those of us with different abilities). Searching for a healthy outlet that will make a difference? Do you love to play sports or serve in a coaching capacity? Then you might try signing up for organized sports with special needs individuals.

Journal It.

If you choose to allow one special needs person, or a group of them, to become a part of your life while you make a positive impact on theirs, then this experience might be worth writing about.

Remember to slow down and fully engage when you meet with your differently-abled friends. Look into their eyes. Smile at each other. Ask questions and tell jokes. You’ll likely find a willing participant who looks forward to spending time with you. He or she will likely express this openly which is a beautiful thing.

Write down bits of conversations that you have with your special needs friend or friends. They’re apt to be some of the most honest and refreshing talks you’ll ever have with another person! And that is definitely a blessing to be grateful for.

30 Days Blessed Challenge

Loving Life — The Reboot!


Day 17. People with Special Needs Remind of What\'s Really Important


  • Nina N

    I totally agree that engaging with people who have special needs is a good reminder of what’s important in life. Sometimes, we are so focused on what we want and need that we are forgetting there are people who are happy with the simplicity of what they have. It’s a perfect way to remind ourselves the importance of being grateful.

    -Nina N-

  • Angie Rose

    These are all such great tips. It’s always important to slow down and really pay attention to the person you are spending time with. Giving them your full attention can seem like an obvious thing to do, but I feel like we all struggle with it in this fast paced world. Amazing post! Thank you for sharing!

  • Renata

    Actually it’s always good to think about your own advantages and blessings and remembering how fortunate you are and how difficult life can be for others. Makes you humble and thankful 🙂

  • Denise

    This is so true on so many levels. I’ve had a few experiences engaging with differently abled people back when I was in highschool and twice when I was already working but the most memorable of all was in highschool. What I appreciated the most is to see how happy they are when they do the things they love the most and just how carefree they can be. Their joy also is very contagious.

  • Jody

    Filling our days with gratitude has changed our lives. As a whole family we have spend 2020 focusing on the good and we have seen an abundance of good come back to us! Life long lessons for the kids as well.

  • Merveille

    It is very true that special needs people really help to put life in perspective. It’s great that you say the importance of slowing down and being in the present with the people. It is so important to be in the present to really enjoy and sock in all the experience. Thank you for sharing.

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