I wish I did not have to write that I have a kid with special needs. I wish, if I had to write this, that at least the kid could be an only child born into a family with more resources to deal with the special needs. But alas, it’s one of my kids, so there’s simultaneously a lot of other children and not a lot of resources. And a mom who is tired!
The most difficult thing to write is that I don’t really know what to say about these special needs. There is no specific diagnosis — and even if there was a diagnosis, it’s meaningless without a way to help. One phrase that is lobbed around by nearly everyone is Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. Another is Sensory Processing Disorder. You could also add Oppositional Defiant Disorder to that.
Whatever you want to call it, I often cringe (at least internally) when the behavior is exhibited in public. This child basically looks like a “normal” kid, and yet the behavior is not “normal” for the age, so I wonder what other parents think of this child, or think of me as a mother for letting a child of mine behave that way.
Of course, I wonder about that because I used to judge the mothers’ of children who behaved the way this child does. I used to see a child behaving the way my child regularly behaves and think, I would NEVER let my child behave this way. That much has not changed — I still do not “let” the child behave this way. I still try to correct the behavior when I see it, or even when I hear about it. Unfortunately, I’ve learned that correcting the behavior works only in the very short-term for this child, if at all. And I’ve also learned that past a certain age, you cannot control anyone’s behavior.
I apologize, in retrospect, for judging mothers based on their children. And for not realizing earlier that children are their own beings. This experience, mothering a kid with special needs, is as humbling as it is frustrating. I’m working on it.
I’m also working to help this child. The child receives weekly sessions from a speech therapist, and also an occupational therapist. Sees a psychiatrist regularly for medication — which helps bring focus — and a psychologist for behavior modification. I’m even talking with a woman who trains therapy dogs for children with special needs, specifically sensory disorder. It’s a long-term possibility.
For right now, I’m just mothering my kid with special needs. I’ve been thinking about it so much lately — talking with all the Jugs, talking with My Chemical Romance, dragging the kid and the siblings to doctors and therapies — that I feel better just typing it out, and letting it go.