The word special has been applied to TitaniumAmy her whole life. She was a student with special needs. She was involved in special programs. She has often required special accommodations due to her special circumstances.
Special has become the euphemism for disability. Somehow, it is supposed to encourage us out of our deficit mindset. If the prefix dis- means “set apart,” but with a negative connotation, then why not replace it with a word that also means set apart – one with a positive spin? I’m not buying it.
Having a disability doesn’t make TitaniumAmy special.It makes her unique. That is all. No positive or negative about it. She’s just unique.
What makes TitaniumAmy special is that she chooses to embrace every adventure available to her. What makes her special is her steadfast refusal to accept limits placed on her. What makes her special is that she has this contagious ability to encourage others to do more, try hard, be better.
And that makes her quite extraordinary indeed.
[p.s. This is a photo of our girl who was surfing with Rocky McKinnon, of McKinnon SUP and Surfing, for a spot on a new morning show. It will air in early July.]