I know children´s developmental charts very well, but that doesn´t stop me from celebrating my children´s individual developments. I feel proud of their accomplishments, and I share them everywhere, trying to motivate and inspire other parents that may not understand yet that living with disabilities is as simple as having different abilities.
Other parents sometimes look at me thinking that I’m nuts.
How can I, as well as others parents of children with disabilities, celebrate obvious and typical signs that show that our children have special needs? How can I be happy that my children are not performing at pace with other kids? Shouldn’t I be ashamed?
Well, I can only be grateful to my kids. They have taught me to be patient and to enjoy them for who they are. We don’t need to compare ourselves to anyone else to measure how well we are doing. I gave up on making others happy or comfortable. There are three people in this world whom I need to make happy: my two children and myself. Judges come and go, so why should we feel affected by them?
Why do we always need a test of abilities in order to accept others? Why do we use a genetic test to label someone as a “genetic mistake,” or a chromosome count to measure somebody else’s tendency to love? I’ve learned that none of these things measure the true content of a person’s character, no matter what his or her abilities are.
Adopting this attitude is not in any way avoiding reality; we are just showing the world that everyone is different, and that we won’t be forced to follow “rules” of what we’re supposed to be able to do at a certain age. We are proud of being who we are and of doing our best every day!
A child with special needs brings new meanings to life. In certain ways, the situation forces you to slow down, and in the meantime, you learn to observe and admire your surroundings. You begin to understand that no matter how fast you move, things seem to work at their own pace. It takes time to learn this lesson. That’s why, in the process of maturing and accepting this simple concept, you may find yourself frustrated or overwhelmed from trying to fit as many therapies as possible into your child’s schedule.
Understanding that your child is always going to have a disability doesn’t mean you give up. But it means you love your child because of his or her abilities and limitations — not in spite of them.
Isn’t that real love?
Isn’t that the way your child loves you?
There are many things that I will never be able to do, because I don’t have the talent or ability for them, but I also know there are things that my children are already doing that I never did, even without having a disability, for example, I never learned how to skate, but look who skates like a professional at 8 years old! and also does plenty of things that I have been scared to try my entire life!
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My children have the ability to pull me out from my logical way of thinking. I love the fact that every photo I take of every simple thing they do makes me smile. These images are treasures that feed my heart and that when shared with the world teach great lessons about the power of different abilities and the uniqueness of each person.