Yes. My Son Has Special Needs. #specialneeds #parenting

by Lori on January 29, 2014

When you hear the term special needs what comes to mind?

If you were like me, you thought of physical disabilities you could see. I also thought of very non-functioning autistic children as special needs.

I never thought of the children with ADD/ADHD, etc as a “special needs” child.

Not until I had one myself.

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My son C has always been different. We knew he was from the get go. We never ever dreamed of talking to our pediatrician about him possibly being more than a “active boy” but it happened. Of course, this mom always knew something was up. I began research on my own and soon discovered what I believed to be his diagnosis. ADD and SPD. Most people have no idea what SPD is. SPD is Sensory Processing Disorder. The pediatrician confirmed my suspicions and referred us to a therapist to find ways to help. She knew I was anti-medication if we could avoid it.

C can not stand loud sounds. Not even the sound of a kitchen gadget running if it is too loud. He would always run inside and hide under the covers if there were fireworks being done outside.  We now have noise cancelling headphone and he wears them when needed.We now have 3 pairs put all throughout the house so when he needs it, he can be comfortable and feel safe.

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He had to have his socks put on just right so the line was off his toes until we bought special socks. Tags had to be cut out of his clothes as soon as we purchased them. Food is also a issue. Textures. Tastes. C was a vegetarian until he was around 5-6 years old.  These are all things we still struggle with today with C. Some meals, I have to make him something different or he will not eat. Most people say, ” Just force him to eat what you do!”, but you can not do this to a child with SPD. You just can’t.

He was also diagnosed with ADD. The fidgeting, forgetting things soon after you told him, etc. He is not the standard “hyper” for ADHD. His therapist calls that the normal boy hyper. He just has trouble focusing and remembering. We can go somewhere and he instantly forgets what car we came in. School work was challenging for him. He needed to move around and you know you cant do that in public schools. He needs routine. He needs a routine that can be changed if he needs it to be changed. He is unmediated. We go to a “play” therapist where we try different techniques to help with his focus and attention.

I NEVER thought of this as being a special needs child. I never felt like I could talk to anyone who had a child with autism or a physical disability before. I felt like my child was just a child who needed a little bit more attention than most. But a special need? I can not use that label. It is not right.

It wasn’t until recently when a  person who is well respected in the Special Needs community looked at me and said,  “Lori, it is ok. Your son has special needs. No matter how big or small. And we are all in this together.”

WOW. Talk about a weight lifted off my shoulders as well as a bit of anxiety on my part. I have a child with special needs. It can be tough to say but at the same time it can be so enlightening. It can make me feel better so even be able to say it.

 

Do I wish I was not on this particular path? No. For me, this is a blessing in a way. It has taught me to look at things differently. I see a situation and I have to think how C would feel or what would C want to do. It helps me look at other people and  really feel for them. And not in pity. I can feel for them as a person who knows what it is like. No matter how big or small, we are in this together. Do some people have bigger needs? Of course. Does this mean I can not be there as a shoulder to cry on? A person to call to tell when they reach a goal? No. I can be that person for anyone. And people can be that for me. Just because my child “just” has ADD and SPD, does not mean I do not understand what it is like to have bad days and wish you could do them over. I can feel just as much as anyone else can. I can be that person who loves and cares for you and your child. And I wish the same for mine.

So please remember there are different levels of special needs in children. Remember that not all children are the same. And while you may believe this is just something parents have to deal with, but it is not a special need…..these parents know differently. These parents are living with it every single day. And your reactions can be the difference sometimes. Your reactions can make the difference in it being a bad day or a good day.

 

 

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Dotty January 29, 2014 at 11:51 am

Beautifully written Lori! great post and yes.its a. difficult subject but you did wonderful and full of Grace . sometimes those “hidden disabilities” are really rough, constantly being judged and worried what others will think. thanks for shedding some light on these special kiddos

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Lori January 29, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Thank you friend.

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Maryann January 29, 2014 at 12:31 pm

Lori, Is C gluten and casein free? Do you give him cod liver oil? I would seriously look into this and GABA, L-Theanine and Pycnoginol for him. They are all wonderful. There are probably a few other things that I am forgetting right now, but I would try those.

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Lori January 29, 2014 at 12:35 pm

It is actually kinda funny you mention Gluten. I just old my husband this weekend I think we need to talk about doing gluten free. I will look into the other things you mentioned. Thank you.

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Leanne January 30, 2014 at 9:48 am

Beautiful blog post!

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Candice January 31, 2014 at 11:04 am

Hugs Lori! I know you are a wonderful mommy and C is lucky to have you on his side.

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Ellen Christian January 31, 2014 at 11:44 am

My son has ADHD & I can totally relate to this. It isn’t easy at all some days.

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Dr Dawn September 21, 2018 at 2:24 pm

I treat many special patients. And I think they are “special” in many beautiful ways. They many times have more capacities that “normal” children.

I know groups of moms of ADHD kids who get together to understand their sons´ necessities and characteristics.

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