Friday, April 10, 2015

Special Needs

I just want to say thank you to everyone who has commented, messaged me, or talked to me in person about the situation that might be happening with Timothy. I appreciate it so very much. You guys don't know how much your kind words have meant to me. Some have resonated with me deeply.

In my last blog about it, I had said that I hadn't cried yet. That has changed.

Tuesday (The day after the meeting with the teachers) they sent a flyer home in Timothy's backpack. It is for a dinner at a church for "Special needs" children and their families. I had never thought of Timothy as special needs. Even if he has autism, I never thought of him that way.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with special needs children or their families. God bless special needs families. They're such strong, beautiful, encouraging people. I admire them so much.

But when I read that flyer, it really hit me. Hard.

I calmly made my way to our guest bathroom and I broke down. (I'm breaking down as I type this) I sobbed and I ugly cried for what felt like forever. I guess seeing it on paper like that made it even more real for me. But that wasn't upset me.

What upset me was that I doubted myself. "How could I be a parent of a special needs child?" I thought. I questioned if I could be strong enough or capable enough to take care of a special needs child. All the parents I see out there are so wonderful. And they do such great jobs. "Could I do that too?" I wondered. I've never dealt with anything like that before in my life other than when I substituted at the schools. I'm not trained. I don't have knowledge. It just really scared me. And I felt like I couldn't breathe.

But then I calmed down. And I thought, "Wait a minute. If Timothy does have autism or there is some other situation going on, I have been taking care of him the past 4 years. I have been capable the past 4 years. What has changed now?"

And it was simple. Nothing. Nothing has changed now. And nothing will change with any diagnosis. I will still be his mother. I will still take care of him the best possible way that I know how. I will still love him unconditionally. And I will still be his biggest cheer leader.

Like his teachers told me, it is going to get harder before it gets easier. I needed that cry. I needed to let it all out. And after I had, I felt so much better. And I still feel great.

Every little thing is going to be alright.

-Ashli

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