Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Great Thing About Parenting Children With Special Needs

Parenting kiddos who have special needs always has its ups and downs.  I think it goes without saying that we all, as parents of even the most "typical" children, have had our share of heartache and frustration. I don't want to talk about any of that today.  I want to talk about one of the really great parts of parenting my children.

It's the little things.  Because every single little thing doesn't always come easy to my kids, I get to really enjoy and relish in the things that we would probably otherwise take for granted.  Liam hasn't had to wear oxygen during the day in almost a year. A year!!  This is a kid who is supposed to be on continuous oxygen until he's at least three years old, and probably until he turns seven.  We still have to monitor him at night, but that's it.  CJ has such great speech that, in Texas, they'd kicked him out of all the speech classes available.  He wasn't supposed to really be able to speak clearly at all. Ever.  We won't even talk about his reading skills. He reads beautifully and is self-taught. When he was a baby, his teacher told us to be prepared for him to possibly not even read at a fourth grade level by the time he graduates high school.

So, today I want to update on the little things my children have given me in the past week to be grateful for.  To some, they'll seem small and simple. To me, they're perfect examples of my children moving mountains.

Aiden: (Soon to be 11 years old and considered "typical")  He has mastered the art of acting like a monkey for his school play.  It is safe to say there is no one who can take on the role of Aladdin's monkey and perform it with half the accuracy that he does.  That's got to count for something.

CJ: (7 years old, Deaf).  We just found out that there is a distinct possibility that his cochlear implant isn't working correctly, and yet he still functions in a mainstream classroom as if nothing major were going on.  AND, he is loving his time in his dance class with Rachel.  His teacher happens to be a friend of mine, who reports, that he is learning a variety of balance activities that he couldn't have dreamed of doing a few months ago. The skill he's most proud of?  He can finally do a roll-over.

Rachel: (4 years old, and considered "typical")  Rachel is finally learning to form some of the letters in her name.  She is VERY proud of this!

Drezden: (3 years old, has some global delays)  Drezden is finally starting to recognize some of his letters.  He can identify his name in writing and HE HAS GONE 3 DAYS WITH NO BINKY!!  He no longer cries for no reason, and his hitting has decreased significantly.  Instead, he has found his voice.  Today, he was able to tell me in a way that I understood "My cup is stuck and broken."  That was enough for me to figure out that the pulp in his orange juice had filled his sippy cup holes.

Liam: (2 years old, Deaf, suffers NEHI syndrome)  Liam can sign "milk", "fish", "more", "please", "banana", "shoe", and "eat".  He is trying to vocalize some of those words, especially fish. Friday at school, he was able to differentiate between shoe, banana, and shoe.  Also, after his teacher imitated a fish swimming with a fish toy, she got up and left the table for a second. Liam picked up the same fish toys and tried to copy just what he'd seen her do.

It really is the little things, isn't it?  These are all such small things in the grand scheme of life.  But, thanks to the fact that I've been gifted with children possessing special needs, I've been granted the ability to stop and really notice and acknowledge them for what they are.  That fact alone makes it all worth it.

1 comment:

  1. Loved this! One of my favorite quotes is "The little things are infinitely the most important"