I’ve struggled these last few weeks. In my mind I know that I’ve accomplished so much, yet it feels as though it’s never enough. It’s hard to stay optimistic when it’s sink or swim and you feel as though you’re drowning…
The weight of hopelessness hangs heavy in the city air. Everywhere I look people have no sense fo pride in their surroundings. No respect for themselves or others. They drown it out with drugs, alcohol and loud music all night long. My son runs around holding his ears and whining. He pulls me toward the door. He just wants to get out, and so do I.
Like prisoners we long for freedom. In our dreams we escape to a better place. A place we can thrive in security, knowing we have a home and a place we belong. We know that everything in this life is temporary and that better things await.
Hardship, Perseverance, Character, Hope…
Sadly, I feel as though the world has no place for us. Why don’t they understand? They seek a cure, but we don’t need one. They see disability were we see possibility. They think education is expensive, we know ignorance is even more expensive.
Is communication and literacy too much to ask from our community? I know special education costs money. My community pays for a certain quality of education for non-disabled children; but my community struggles with the negative perception that children with severe disabilities are a burden and not worthy of the cost. Who are we to question who is and isn’t worthy of life?
I have hopes and dreams like everyone else. Don’t stifle my hope. Believe in me. Know that I can do this. I’ll never give up. I’ll never stop trying. Everyday I amaze you. I accomplish more than you ever thought I could.
We may not all have the same abilities, but we have unique abilities. Everyday we learn and we grow.
I admit I’ve done my share of tilting windmills, struggling against seemingly futile causes. By its very nature, the victory is in the struggle. Who can win a battle, when he retreats in fear of loosing?
Imagine a world without disabilities, a world without special needs children. What kind of world would it be? A world of Stepford children and Stepford wives, with unnatural perfection – zombies, robots, lifeless and unhuman. Brainwashed into submission, they believe in man’s ability to create perfection. They’ve focused their energy on perfecting others, and neglected bettering themselves.
I see a world of possibility. Miracles happen everyday. I have a special child who brings out the best in me. He touches so many lives with his infectious laughter. He communicates joy without speaking a word.
So as parents, we struggle on believing that communication and literacy is possible and that we are capable of teaching him. We must always believe that the task is doable and that we are capable! We must guard our thoughts. The world has successfully educated deaf and blind children for hundreds of years.
For all of history, the worlds greatest thinkers have believed in possibility.
It’s amazing how much things have changed in the few short months since I started blogging.
My 7-year-old, non-verbal son is sitting in a nice warm sunny window watching Alphabet Amusement Park on Netflix. Over the last few months, he’s learned to navigate Netflix on the iPad like a pro. He unlocks the iPad with a pass code and without assistance, get’s on Netflix and chooses the correct user account (so that Netflix will stop prompting me to watch Leap Frog, Signing Time, or another movie/tv show for children that I’m already singing the theme songs to as I drift off to sleep every night…)
My blog has become a journal of personal experiences, a place to be myself, and to renew my strength. At first I wasn’t sure anyone would want to read what I wrote. My adventure in advocating publicly for children with autism and special needs began with a Facebook page. I quickly realized inspirational quotes, funny sayings, photos and bad news were the most popular Facebook posts. I was disappointed. I didn’t reach as many special needs parents as I had hoped. The resources I found over the past 7 years weren’t getting much attention. I had spent hours researching, reading, and learning how best to help my son, and I wanted nothing more than to share what I had learned, hoping the considerable effort I made would save some other exhausted parent time and energy.
One of our favorite family activities is apple picking at the local orchards. This photo reminds me of a time that was particularly special. It was one of our last family outings with Great-Grandma. She’s no longer with us and we miss her so much – her light-hearted humor, her stories, and her princess personality. She was always the princess – even in old age.
My grandma had Alzheimer’s. It seemed funny to me that even when she could no longer remember that my father was not my brother and her daughter was not her mother, she still remembered little Stephen had Autism and couldn’t talk. Stephen and Great-Grandma had a special silent connection that was beyond words! We love and miss you Grandma ❤
This last month has been one of the most hectic times in my life. I keep waiting for things to settle down. I’ve had the stomach bug for 3 days now. I suppose it’s time to see a doctor, but all I really want to do is rest.
When will the golden years come? All my life I’ve heard people say it will get easier when you’re older. I’m not sure that it ever gets easier. I know my perspective has changed so much over the years. Things that were once the end of the world are now just speed bumps.
Wednesday afternoon we drove through a snow storm on our way home from moving our daughter and grandson out-of-state. I was looking forward to getting home and taking a few hours to rest before getting back to work.
I’ve had a very stressful week – without even 5 minutes to myself! In just the few minutes it takes to write this short post I’ve been interrupted numerous times with the constant demands of motherhood. I find myself looking to the brighter side of things. I took this pic on my iPhone while waiting for an appointment! 🙂 Continue reading One Word Photo Challenge: Yellow→
'And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.' Roald Dahl
A blog dedicated to my personal research on intellectual and developmental disabilities. In order to highlight issues affecting people with developmental disabilities and debunk stereotyping myths, the first step is to become informed and spread awareness through visual storytelling and facts. (Dedicated to my older brother, Doug).