Hello, my name is Christine and I am a mother to two children with special needs. That feels like an introduction at an AA meeting or a group therapy meeting, only that this time this is said with pride. I have two gorgeous girls who have taught me the meaning of strength and resilience, the reason to cling on to hope even when everything around you seems hopeless.
The special needs journey is not the easiest of journeys. The road is marred with ups and downs from numerous doctor visits to therapy visits to non-ending financial obligations. It may seem like an uphill task to raise a child with special needs, an extra burden compared to parents with able-bodied children … and it is … but it is not the end of the world. It is manageable.
Having two special needs children is not easy, especially when their needs are different. Society has brought us up to feel like such children should be pitied and that they don’t have much to give to the society at large.
What society doesn’t tell you is the other side of special needs parenting …the joy that is greater than the pain. The blessing that is watching your little miracle blossom from what you never thought could be to something extraordinary. The small but sure steps (pun intended) they take in beating the odds, the light in their eyes as they achieve such milestones.
It is the small things that make the difference in this special needs journey. The less noticeable and easily brushed away little things amount to one huge milestone. My little joys are many, but below are some of them:
- Lifting her head up at sleeping position
- Being able to grasp a toy
- Walking without aid
- Rolling from one side to the other
- Eating solid food
The above has made me have faith in what I cannot see, in what seems impossible at the moment. The girls have a lot to catch up… the (special needs) journey is far from over… but looking back to where we have come from I can only thank God. The leaps and bounds taken are enormous, the joys definitely more than the sorrows.
From firsthand experience, these children are very intelligent in their own way. They are jolly and a blessing to be with, giving out what they know best – love. If you have ever interacted with a special needs child, you know the heartwarming feeling you get through just a hug. The joys of simply seeing them overcome one milestone after another. It humbles you as a parent seeing your child being the best they can be, given what life has handed over to them.
I will not downplay the special needs journey and say it is not hard, that it doesn’t have its challenges and that we parents do not envy your children some times.
The love and joy we receive from our children supersedes the bumps we face on the road. Our wanting to give them the best this world can offer is just like any other parents’, if not more.
I have learnt to appreciate the little things in life, the small steps my children make in their daily lives. The looking forward to what tomorrow will bring.
Next time you see me on the streets, either looking blessed or stressed, don’t pity me; instead be jealous of me. I am living a blessed life through the eyes of my special needs children.
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