Special Needs and Special People
The other day I went on a hike with Suzy, another coworker, and we were exchanging stories about our strange tendencies. I’m pretty OCD, she’s pretty ADD. We all have our quirks.
More and more I realize that all of us have “special needs”, which makes sense because we are all different. The greatest challenge with special needs is that they can isolate you from other people.
For some people, the way they are wired makes them want to retreat into their own world. I know James would be completely content carving wood for hours and not engaging with anyone else. For others, something else stands in their way. Cap often repeats the same cycle of phrases really, really fast. His mother (who happens to be a house mother) told me that he doesn’t have total control of his speech; even though he might want to say something else, those phrases are what come out. How challenging do you think it must be to communicate with someone when you can’t properly express yourself?
Regardless of why it is difficult for us to reach out, it is a known fact that we are social creatures and, at the end of the day, distance from other people leaves us lonely.
There are many ways to describe Triform but if I had to choose only one word it would without a doubt be the word community. Triform is a community and that is what makes it such a special place. Everyone here (students, coworkers and house parents included) lays bare the confession that none of us are perfect and that we all need help in one way or another. With honesty and acceptance as its foundation, the entire community strives to meet very differing needs and to live in harmony while doing so.
For instance, at Oona house there is no strict rule that everyone needs to be at the table during meals. Sometimes Karston can’t handle it. But instead of saying, “Either you sit at the table the entire time or you don’t with us at all”, he is welcome whenever he feels he can manage. Certainly such a lifestyle requires everyone to be flexible, patient and understanding but, hey, like the title says: special needs and special people.