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The Hardest Child



The hardest child is not a fair comparison. In the autism spectrum you have the self-injurious, the picas (persistent eating of substances such as dirt, paint, and small objects that have no nutritional value), the elopers, and the children who have constant meltdowns. If you expand it to all children with disabilities you have a variety of psychiatric and physical disabilities that are very disabling or will result in death. Throw in children fighting cancer or disease and how do you say the hardest child?

It is important to acknowledge that each individual and the situation they live in are unique. That having a child with disabilities impacts greatly every family and those involved with that individual. That families often have to deal with multiple disabilities. The weight makes their child the hardest child for that family.

As I write this, this past spring a very young adult male escaped from his group home near where I live. He traveled about a mile from the home and laid down in the middle of a two lane highway. He was struck by a car and died. I know nothing more about him, but he was the hardest child.

Each hard child has hurdles that they have no control over as they go through life. The hardest is when the situation they are in to keep them safe, healthy, happy, and with purpose fails. The hardest child can happen in one instance.