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Why have more children when you already have some with special needs?

on December 18, 2012

One thing that always comes up in discussions with aqaintences is our special needs children They often want to know why we had more children when we found out the N had autsim spectrum disorder, and after complicated pregnancies that resulted in preemies ( Ranging from 30 weeks to 34 week and 5 days. ) why we had more children
The truth: we weren’t super careful . Yes we wanted a big family but if we had had our choice we would have spaced them out a little bit more. Three out of five were “surprises”. Even with the fact that we were not super careful we also knew that it was never in our hands. That GOD’s will would always be done.
So what do we tell people with out going into details about our intimate life? Well this . We wanted a large family . We love having a big family . We wouldn’t change it for the world . I know that that is not answering the question directly at all but I want people to understand that we know GOD never makes mistakes.
Often enough this answer doesn’t satisfy people. The next questions is “But how do you do it ? And i always say with patience and prayer. That answer almost always prevokes the statement ” Wow you are one special person , i don’t think i could handle that!” Ad then comes my little speech
I am not that special. I just do what i have to do . I have loved my children from day one . Just because they have a disability doesn’t change who they are , it just helps me to understand them better. For example, N wasn’t talking by two and had a very limited vocabulary that consisted mostly of names. A little after her second birthday i agreed to a speech assesment. The speech patholigist thought that some more then just speech was going on just by how N was behaving so we ended up going for another assesment. At that assement N was diagnosed with Autsim spectrum disorder mild to moderate, pervasive development disorder not otherwise specified. I think my jaw hit the floor. When i thought of autism my thoughts went immediately to a child rocking back and forth making wierd noises somewhere in a corner. I was totally oblivious to what that really was snd how wrong my assumptions were. The sad part is that most people envision autism the same way I did.
Now N is fully verbal , has minamal meltdowns and is in regular classroom with some assistance. I’ll admit at first i treated her differently because I didn’t know how to respond. It wasn’t till a very dear friend pointed out that she was still the same little girl that i always knew and loved that i realized that there wasn’t anything wrong with her but what was wrong with me. The diagnosis opened up door to help my child get the therapy she needed but it didn’t change who she was. In fact it just brought out more things to love.
I know this sounds crazy but when we finally got the diagnosis for T ,that he had mild Cerbral palsy, I was over the moon. I knew something was up but this diagnosis opened up a world to him so he could recieve the treatment that he needed. Once agian it didn’t change the little boy Ii loved it just opened up his world to getting the best for him Isn’t that we all a parents want the best for our children.
Yes it means more time going to doctors appointments, and therapy , more time dedicated to him . Yes equipment can be quite costly.
As for having more children after knowing we had one with a disability well let me tell you this . Children are competetive , what one does the other wants to do . They push each other to expand thier knowledge and skills without even knowing they are. They thrive on their accomplishments and praise. All children need encourgement to do things and so with gentleness and a sibling whose willing to help them learn they do. I know for a fact that if we had only had N she would be way worse then she is now.
In her own setting she has had to learn the social skills with people who love her unconditionally . She has had to learn to verbalize what she wants to be heard over her siblings instead of screeching. She has learned to try new things and to show off her new found abilities because her siblings do.
T as well has had to learn to do things. He would never have attempted to climb up on the counter or push a chair to reach if he had never seen his siblings do it . He would probably not even attmpted to walk when he did which was ” late” anyways but the the fact that he wanted to be in with the mix of his siblings forced him to try . T due to devlopmentsl delays probably would not have tried to talk if her didn’t have to be heard over the others
So in conclusion my children aren’t broken they just need a little more help then say the average child and I am not that special . I am just a mother loves her children just the way that they are and who would do anything for them . I recognize my children by who they are not what their diabilites are.

Ttfn
E

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