I’ve been lucky enough to have two beautiful daughters. They are healthy, happy (for the most part anyway) children who have the world ahead of them.
But what if that hadn’t been the case? What if they had been born with additional needs, or struck down by a horrifying illness which left them fighting for their life and permanent damage to their body which no amount of medication could correct?
I have today spent a wonderful hour with a young boy who encountered such an issue, one who has been turned away from other music groups across Hertfordshire. When his mother approached me about attending Tiny Acorns classes with her new baby, she explained that her first son had suffered a terrible illness as a baby which had left him with permanent damage. Almost apologetically, this wonderful young lady asked if he could attend along with his baby brother.
For me, the question needed no consideration, needed not a moment’s hesitation. Of course he could. Why should he be turned away because he needs more support?
Another business owner had declined to allow special needs children in their music classes, describing their presence as a distraction to others. I started to wonder who these “others” were. The children? They see a person as a person, irrespective of colour, class or need. The other grown-ups? Would all grown-ups not see all children as individuals who all deserve the right to love music? The class leader? Is it distracting or just uncomfortable? Or perhaps they fear their clients will not want to attend such a situation.
I can’t speak for children. I can’t guarantee what the other grown-ups will say. But I like to think that all Tiny Acorns parents have the love in their heart and the open mind to look, absorb the situation, and enjoy the class treating all the children equally. Making no exceptions.
I can speak for the class leaders. I myself, as the owner of Tiny Acorns, welcome the addition of any child to my class. I ensure my staff are clear on my policy too. Furthermore, this is their belief system.
I was asked what I would do if another parent approached me to ask me not to allow the child into class. I never expect to be asked. But if I was, I’d wish them every happiness at the new group they join, and hope and pray THEIR child never gets sick.