I know when many people see her for the first time, they see her chair, crooked smile or even her drooly chin. I don't see that any more. I see her bright eyes (when she is feeling well), her mischievous grin and I listen for her giggle. She lights up when she sees familiar faces and claps when really happy.
Last week she was in her first Christmas program. She has never been included before and it was way past time. No one was worried that she may distract anyone. She didn't make loud inappropriate noises when things were quite. She just sang in her own way, played with her noise maker (while giggling uncontrollably) and although she did steal a little girl's halo during prayer, she was just exceptionally cute.
All of this brings me to my thought for today. I know that some folks are afraid to approach a child with special needs because they don't know what to say. Here is a hint, smile and compliment them on something you noticed about them. "He has beautiful eyes" or "Where does she get those great shoes?" and even "What a great laugh!". Find something special to start the conversation.
Personally, I would avoid asking what condition they have or how they got in a wheelchair. If the friendship blooms, someday those questions will be answered. Until then, enjoy those things that are things they may have in common to discuss. Differences can wait until later.