Yes, my son has special needs.
Being the last of 4 children, I was aware early on that this child was in deed “specialer” than the rest of my children!
There are so many feelings and emotions I have experienced and continue to experience. It is amazing to me that even after 10 years, I find myself still wanting to deny in stead of embrace his unique needs.
I think as humans we just want to press through what ever is going on in the present to get to the future- as if situations and even other humans are a block in front of us preventing us from the goal.
Children in general will cause you to slow down and re-evaluate what is important in life..as they should. But when you have a special needs child, you go through denial- it is a strange phenomenon. You see the glaring difference in the person who sits in front of you, and feel a certain amount of underlying frustration- yet still want to gloss over the situation and approach it the way you always had in the past.
My son has been diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum for some time, and we are getting ready to do a more specialized evaluation this week. We then will have a better understanding of what tools he needs to succeed and a better idea of what we need to do as parents to re-learn our communication skills with him and fortunately (in response to unfortunate mistakes) be able to address behavior on all of our parts, that has been a negative in the parenting process.
Did you know, many couples with special needs children do not sustain their relationships? Special needs children or terminally sick children take a lot of the family focus and energy. It is extremely taxing on couples who many times already have trouble communicating in their marriages, let alone learning a “new language” to communicate to their child. It is also very taxing on siblings and the parent-children relationships. I completely understand the hardship and have compassion on parents wherever they have landed on this aspect of raising a special needs child. I think for me, knowing the rate of divorce in these situations has validated my feelings of being overwhelmed- it really isn’t just”me”….these are tough life situations! Having said that, we have been willing to do what ever it takes to learn how to communicate better and be a better team for our child….both parents need to be willing.
Then there is my son! How does he feel? What are his frustrations? What loss does he experience?
He usually feels like no body likes him…not friends, teachers, leaders, and at times even his parents and siblings. He usually feels like he is stupid and unable to grasp things that are taught. He actually is extremely intelligent…he has a high IQ. He just takes longer than a “typical person” to process and communicate the information in what ever form that takes.
He has a loss of joy and peace. He tells me he was born grumpy!! He tells me he wasn’t born like others when I am trying to fit his “round peg into a square hole”! He is amazingly accurate when it comes to behaviors (usually in others- oH….we are all like that;-)much more transparent and discerning than any of us would like to admit!
Part of this journey with him has expanded our holistic health philosophy. We have always tried to approach our children with a holistic mentality- serving their spirits, souls and body. Making sure we are building them in their spirit by prayer and being part of a church body, their souls by having a home school way of life – even if they went to another school during “school” hours, and in their bodies teaching them about true healthy foods and supplements.
I make him a special oil formula to help calm him down and rub on his legs and have introduced him to kombucha, pro-biotics and L-glutamine -all researched and proved to help autistic spectrum children be better supported. He eats gluten-free and has developed his own awareness of what foods make him feel well, and which ones do not.
He refers to Honest Aromas as mom “doing her oils”!! And now asks me if I will make him special inhalers for this or that, or if I would blend him an anti-bacterial spray!
He is fearfully and wonderfully made! He has a purpose in this life, and I bear much responsibility in helping him to over come and leading him to the skills that will help him succeed in this life. I didn’t know I was “signing on for this” when I had this child, but I see every day….. it is all part of my path as well as his.
Proverbs 127:3 says “children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward”. Whether you understand that reference as an old book that has been handed down through the centuries, or the inspired Word of God, it holds great wisdom for us to glean. That particular scripture is what I feast on, moment by moment, as I walk this this narrow road with my little man….and I tell him often he is a blessing.
God Bless you today if you walk this narrow road of special needs. I hope you are encouraged and have an invigorated sense of purpose as a parent- no matter how special your child is!!