Trials are not enemies of faith but are opportunities to prove
God's faithfulness. -- Author Unknown

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one
to say 'thank you?' -- William A. Ward

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Raising a Child with Special Needs

We are coming up on our 2nd Gotcha Day as a family of 4 and have moved on to the adventures of being a family of 5. Our lives have changed so much in the last 2 years.
2 years ago I knew nothing about IEP's, I had never had a child in the hospital or to have surgery. I was pretty much coasting through parenthood as Anthony had been in daycare since about 6 months old. I can't imagine sending him back to school next year. They will be getting a different parent. I don't just trust the teachers to tell me what I need to know. I realize they have different priorities. My job is to raise my children and their job is to raise their children. I still struggle with this with Ananya and Prasun. I'm working on it and will discuss it alittle more later.
My schedule is always busy. I don't think that it has anything to do with special needs. It mostly has to do with me being picky and not wanting to let my children go. I homeschool Anthony and that takes time. I refuse to put Ananya and Prasun in the local preschool. The result is that I have to take them to the school for therapy. I have tried alot to make doctor's appointments on different days for the kids. I'm just learning to juggle 3 and don't want to be distracted when the doctor is talking to me. That has made us have 2 trips to the dentist instead of 1. I made the choice to take Prasun to a different CP doctor versus waiting for the appointment with Ananya's doctor. I decided that being able to do something 3 months sooner was more important than only making 1 trip. I make my life busy with the choices that I think are best for our family. I'd hate to think that anyone would doubt their ability to parent a child because it seems like alot.
I spend alot of time thinking of all the kids that don't have homes. There are so many around the world. I can't stand the thought of it. I wish we could do more. When the time is right, I'm guessing God will push. For now, I do everything possible for Ananya and Prasun.
The biggest part of having a special needs child is being an advocate. That is your first duty. You have to advocate with doctors, therapist, and schools. Its no different than any child. You have to decide what is best for your child and then fight for it. I've decided that the preschool isn't the best environment. If I'm going to send my kids somewhere, I expect them to get alot more than they are getting at home. Sitting and watching other kids wasn't in Ananya's best interest. For now, the kids stay home. Maybe in August or sometime after we could try school again.
Frustration and worry are part of being a parent. I get so frustrated with Anthony that it doesn't get close to what I feel with Ananya or Prasun so far. I worry anytime Anthony is gone. It is alittle more real when Ananya has Botox done, but it could be anything with Anthony and I'd be in the same place. Alot of days I doubt my ability to raise toddlers/preschoolers. I know that alot of mothers do.
All kids have special needs. They all need special attention at one time or another. All kids go through the same stages. They all grow up. Sometimes it seems too slow and sometimes it seems too fast. Some days I feel like both of these are true at the same time.
I just think everyone should look at special needs children. Looking won't hurt. The child would never know. You aren't getting their hopes up. Just look. What if you could find your child on the list. It could change your future. At the very least, you can pray for these children to find their families. Pray for them to be healed.


The Labontes said...

Thank you for this post. It made me email you. Thank you for everything.

CindyO. said...

I never thought I would even consider a special needs child. Then, I opened my heart to a sweet little 3 y/o in India.

Luke has been with us for over a year now--and I love him sooooo much. I can't even imagine life without him.

Life is more hectic and he is a handful at times, BUT he is a HEARTful at ALL times....thanks for posting this Amanda! You are right, just LOOK--you never know what God has in store.