I’ve read a few articles lately about the phrase, “God only gives special needs kids to special people.” Some truly feel this is accurate, after all (and here comes a few more catch phrases), “He’ll only give you what you can handle.” and “It takes a special person to raise a special needs child.”
Early on in our spectrum adventure, I sighed and took those as compliments, even going so far as to think, “Yea, maybe I am stronger than the average person if I’m actually doing this spectrum life thing.” But as we continue to grow and learn right alongside our son, I realize how off-kilter these remarks really are.
Here’s what I know: I have five children. Four of them are neuro-typical; one of them has autism. All of them make me take a deep breath from time to time so I can bite my tongue and gather my thoughts before answering. All of them make me scratch my head wondering, “Really!? What in the world?” All of them exhaust me in different ways. But, at the same time, all of them bring me to tears, so proud of them, who they are, how they treat others, how compassionate, loving, kind, and respectful they are. All of them make me proud of my role as mom. All of them push me to be a better person. And all of them need, no deserve a special person who is strong enough to wade through all of the challenges which come along with parenthood, be it on the spectrum scene or in the neurotypical world.
Parenting is not easy business no matter who your kid is. In fact, to quote my hero husband not long ago when I felt I was not measuring up, “Parenting is messy.” He speaks the truth. Parenting is tough, but the rewards and benefits cannot be beat. That is true in both the neurotypical and the special needs worlds. We are just lucky enough to live in both of those worlds.