My kid with special needs

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.

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9 Responses

  1. I think that as long as you’re a loving mother who sees her kids as the apples of her eye, then you’re fine. Doesn’t matter what other people think. 🙂 Stay strong! CHEERS!

  2. All I can say is, I feel your pain. I’m more apt to write about it, because I think living in isolation while dealing with something hard is not my favourite, and drives me to write.
    Anyways, my kid also doesn’t have a name for how his brain operates, yet, but it is obvious that it operates differently. And it is very, very, very (veryveryveryVERY) hard to parent that kind of a brain. Some days I’m like, “GIVE ME THE PILL THAT WILL FIX THIS,” and other days I’m like, “He’s a Picasso, you can’t drug a Picasso.” Not that he’s an artist. But another type of genius brain that operates on a different plane. I recently heard that cutting wheat out of their diet can help; or is it gluten? I have to look it up. And fish oils too. I’m so busy parenting him (and the others) that I never have time to look up alternative treatments, lol!
    I just wanted to say that I feel ya.

    • Thanks Melissa. I would be fine with not drugging for an artist’s brain, but I do drug for ADHD/focus, because it helps so much. We just came off two weeks of no drugs (to see if that would mitigate angry behaviors — it didn’t) and it was a huge problem for those two weeks. The ADHD is very very severe.

      • I am not anti meds!! I just didn’t want to come across as ready to medicate my kid before he’s even diagnosed =p One thing at a time.
        My uncle is on ADHD meds and has been for 20ish years~ he’s a university professor so he’s pretty articulate, and he says that medication was almost like being born again. He could finally function.

  3. Hey. SO I am Lora’s good friend Sarah. You just described my life. Lora brough me over here to read this. My middle child has a seizure in Oct and Nov. He has sensory issues as well. Ever since the last seizure he has TOTALLY changed. I think I have said everything you have just said to Lora. I don’t like saying I have a special needs child. he goes to speech and OT weekly. Started seeing a psychologist. Throw a neurologist in your mix and our kids could match.

    Guess i just wanted to say that I knwo EXACTLY what you are going through. Ask Lora. 😉

  4. […] on Cinco de Mommy: My son, “Mineral,” has special needs. Animal just looked at this pic and said, "Wow, he looks like Abraham […]

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