We are subject to our collective perceptions about ability and disability, and those people in our lives with whom we work so hard are subject to those perceptions. Behaviorally speaking, if we are to challenge our patterns, we must stop rewarding ourselves by suggesting that to provide anything to individuals with exceptional living and learning needs is an accomplishment. Instead, we must reward ourselves only when we are able to give access to, support, or provide an equitable quality of life to that of neurotypical people.
We must recalibrate our perceptions such that the outcomes of our efforts are not just socially acceptable and valuable, but are always valuable to the individuals and families that we serve. In honor of the new year, let’s all work to challenge these habits and patterns of perception.