Special Needs

From the moment I started this blog I knew that some of the posts would be about parenting a child with special needs. To say that it has changed my life would be an understatement. It is my opinion that despite all of the talk about doing things our own way and standing out from the crowd, the reality is that most of us want to be "normal" - we want to blend in, fit in, be a part of the crowd. Don't believe me?

Before I had children, I envisioned that I would have two children, a boy and a girl. (I have two boys.) We would do all of the fun stuff like: gymnastics, sports, school activities, movies, camping and hiking, family vacations, get-togethers with friends, sleepovers, birthday parties, and on and on. Some things we do but are modified and carefully planned. My youngest son attends a tumbling class for special needs children. Camping is done at KOA campgrounds in one of their cabins or lodges. Other stuff, we simply don't do. I did not imagine the NICU, early intervention therapies, Braille, speech communication devices, autism spectrum, social skills groups, special education, and general life upheaval.

When my oldest son was a toddler, he could never sit still; changes in routine would make him explode. We could not do normal toddler playgroups. Obsession with trains, little speech, and lining up cars were the norm. When I'm out and about with my youngest son, we definitely stand out from the crowd because of his cane and his mannerisms. There are days when I long to shrink into the background, to blend in, to fit in, to be a part of the crowd.

On the other hand, there are plenty of days when all is right with my world. Who knew how much fun learning Braille or American Sign Language could be? There are so many things that I don't take for granted and so much progress that has been celebrated. It has also been such a blessing to be a part of a circle of moms who also have special needs children. It is a blessing because they get it. If you do not have such a group of friends, my unsolicited advice is to find one or start one, even if it's only online.

There is one of my posts in particular that I sometimes refer to when I need encouragement and a gentle reminder that I'm on a different path from most other parents. It was originally inspired by an email conversation with a friend. The post is called "Accepting Defeat or Rethinking Perceptions?" Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your stay.

Other Special Needs Posts:

Watching, Waiting, and Hoping that Third Time's a Charm
Eleven Years Ago Today: Then and Now
Medication Merry-Go-Round
Anti-Epilepsy Meds: Damned if You Do, Damed if You Don't
Follow-up EEG: Once More Unto the Breach
Sadness and Happiness and Advice for Those Who Listen
It's the Waiting That Kills Me
Just When You Think You're in the Clear
The Talk
Dare to Not Compare
Standing Still
The Short Bus
En Garde!
When Silence Isn't Golden
'Tis the Season...IEP Season
The Obvious and the Obscure
What's Your Kid's Excuse?
Case Manager, Therapist, Nurse, Advocate....Mom
We Ask Different Questions
Been There
He Can Hear, Right?
Moms: Most are Awesome, Some are Special


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