Sunday, August 7, 2011

Special Needs Children

I know many of us out here in blogashpere have kids with special needs. However in my real day to day life I don't have many friends who have kids with special needs, and those I do have younger kids, so they are not where I am yet.

The thing is the special needs my kids have are not visible. You could not tell they are any different from any other child by looking at them, but this is real. My boys have symptoms of:

-Sensory Issues
-Learning Disabilities

Usually the people in my life or those around us think:

-my kids are brats
-I am babying them
-they could use a good spanking
-they are spoiled

Most people have no idea about many of the special needs that exist, including the things my boys have.

I remember a few years ago I used to leave church early to go get my son from the church childcare. I did that because once other parents and noise started he would cry, but if I got there first he was still ok (the fact that he would even stay in there was actually such a blessing.) Yet I had a few church members tell me that it was rude to leave church early to get my son. Would it be rude if my child was diabetic and needed insulin at that exact time? Sensory issues are no less real than diabetes. However the "treatment" of behavior modification (for parents as well as child), prevention, and realizing the limitations of your child and not going too much beyond those limitations seem unacceptable.

Let's all be honest, parenting is hard. Harder than everyone will ever tell you and harder than you will believe even if they try.

Parenting as a single parent even harder, and throwing in some special needs makes the job seem impossible. Actually it is impossible.

I could not be doing any of this without God. But I also need my friends, family, and fellow Christians to help me and love me, not judge me and blame me.

I love my kids, I want what is best for them. God gave them to me, special needs and all, so I am trying to do what I think He wants me to do. I fail daily, and I make many many mistakes! I know I can use help and advice, but I need that to come in love.

I wish that when people look at my kids they do so in love and when they want to say what they are thinking regarding to the reason behind my kids behavior or what I should be doing according to them that they would pray first and then speak to me in LOVE. And even if they are speaking to me in love, doing so during a particular episode of either child will also not be helpful.

Now I also want to add I know that I am too easy on my kids at times and I know that they do manipulate me and get away with it at times. I know that I am not perfect or any where near in my parenting, but I also know that these boys were born with some of their issues. I have been working with kids since before I had mine; I have an AA in Education; and over 100 hours in continuing education classes. Also I have been parenting these boys for over 13 years. I have taken them to specialists, and second and third opinions; I have worked with child study teams. I have read more books on special needs than I ever would have cared too. I also worked in an office that treated children with special needs and delays (so thankful to God He put me there, that was the best education regarding my own boys.) I do know some about children and children with special needs (but I can always learn more.)

I pray that when I see another parent struggling I will not be quick to judge or assume or anything. I pray I would lift them up in prayer (in my mind at that moment) and offer to help them in a way that would bless them (i.e. taking other child or children for a walk, so they can give full attention to child needing it, etc.) And I pray that those around me would do the same for me.