Sometimes, when I was younger, I pondered about being a mom. I never really thought it was one of the first things I wanted to do. I dreamed of being a traveling painter and experiencing and expressing the world in color, texture and shape and although I have been able to explore and achieve some of those goals, it wasn’t meant to be as a lifelong endeavor. Instead, I have been able to marry a wonderful man and am now the mother of two beautiful children; a boy and girl. People tell me I am lucky that I got one of each, and really, I am lucky…period. I never imagined that being a mom would be so truly rewarding and fulfilling! Although my children are still very young, I have found that being a mom is one of my most prized roles and I have been able to begin to share my passion for life (and art) with my children (and husband). And that has brought more joy to me than anything I could have imagined (even selling a million paintings).
However, since my oldest, our daughter, was born, there have been things about her that just weren’t….”normal”. Although I HATE using that word. She will be turning three this year and was just diagnosed with SPD.
For months I have been discounting some of her behavior as just being “overly tired” or “frustrated” or “stubborn”. But since we started to actively try to potty train her and she had tubes put in her ears, some of those behaviors became more and more prominent and well, lets face it, odd. What three year old normally hits their head on the wall repeatedly and thinks its funny? Or plays with their poo and rubs it EVERYWHERE? It was a hard pill to swallow to finally admit that something was just not right and talk to someone about it.
We all think that our children are perfect, or rather, want them to be. So, realizing that things aren’t going the way they should be is a difficult road to travel. It’s only been a little over a month, but going through the evaluations, the questions, the observations etc. has been one emotional roller coaster for me and my husband. I realize that having a child with special needs doesn’t mean they are broken. In fact, after doing a lot of reading, and most of all, observing my daughter. I have come to the conclusion that these kids that are deemed with special needs are some of the most wonderful children! Every child is wonderful and special and beautiful, but it is amazing to see some of the gifts special needs children can have!
I truly feel that kids that struggle with things such as SPD and other disorders have them so they don’t out shine us all! They help keep us grounded when we are getting too caught up in our own world and achievements. My daughter, for example, has an amazing ability to love and show that love to those that may have physical or emotional difficulty. She seems to seek out people that have physical deformities and emotional problems and says “hello”, blows kisses and touches them gently. She also has a very strong sense of rhythm and music. My sister’s daughter who has ADHD and a few other things has a great talent and ability for drawing and artistic things. I have just realized since this realization with our daughter, that although she does struggle with some things, she does amazingly well with others. I supposed just as everyone else does.
We all have strengths and weaknesses, I guess we just have to realize that our children with these difficulties are just more obvious than others and we have to do more physical things to help. But I have also come to know, that perhaps they are here more for us than themselves. Already, in the short three years of my daughter’s life, I have learned more about me as a person that I ever could have any other way. We think we have a lot to teach our children, when in reality they are teaching us. And I am grateful that there are ways that we as parents of children with special needs can talk together and share our successes and frustrations with our children so easily so that we don’t feel like we are trudging through these experiences alone…when everyone else’s children seem so easy and “perfect”. Thank you to you all that endeavor daily to make a better impact on your children.