As the mother of a child with special needs, I have heard the following phrases many, many times.
Those of; ’only special parents get special children’, and, ‘God only gives special children to special people’.
Now I know that when people say these sentiments, they mean well.
They really do. But, to be honest, phrases such as these upset me. They upset me because I am not a special mother just because I have a child with special needs. Why on earth would that make me special?
Yes, I am a mother to a child with special needs. But, and it’s a big BUT, that does not make me ‘special’. I am just a mum, like any other mum, doing her best for her children. That’s all any mother can do.
What I believe, is that having a child with special needs, changes the parent. It has to. Having Tom changed me. But does that make me ‘special’? Erm... sadly not.
I would like to think I am now a more empathetic and kind person for the changes Tom has brought into my life.
I cannot help but see the world through a different lens. He makes me see things differently.
I have to consider what the world is like for him, in order to make it a happier place for him to live in. By trying to understand his needs, I am better able to help him.
But I feel all parents do this anyway, whether their child has additional needs or not.
Family life is also very different than the one I had originally planned, as a family with two boys.
But we’ve adapted, you just have to. We’ve incorporated changes into daily life, with the use of visuals, sensory diets, and a structured routine.
We try to be understanding. But in doing so, Tom has taught us so much about the world. I now know things I never knew before I had him. In fact, a whole new world opened up when I had him, and I am glad of that.
Ultimately, I hope we have two happy little boys. My Tom is just like any other little boy.
He loves his trains, cars and playing in the garden. And I am just like any other mum. I just want the best for my children.