Sunday, September 29, 2013

When Worse Makes You Thankful for the Bad

In the past few months our little guy has changed a lot. He went from playing with toys to not wanting anything but a hand in front of his face. He thrives on the way the light looks as it comes through his fingers. He likes the feeling of his feet hitting the floor as he bobs around on it. He is a picture of constant movement. If you did not know that he had special needs, you might think it was really cute, and it is. If you watched him daily for several weeks, you would obviously realize that they are habitual stim behaviors. So far, they have not really been negative behaviors. They are still different. At times I have found myself disliking the behavior. I doubt I'm the only mom of someone with special needs who wished the outward signs were not obvious, but I have wished that.

Last week made me thankful for our bobbing little broncho with the waving hand and rocking feet. He caught an awful virus of some kind. All he did most of the day for about five days was lay there. If he started his normal behavior it lasted for only a few minutes before he wore himself out. When he didn't have tylenol, he just moaned in pain. He was a sad sight. He didn't even have the strength to bring his hand up to look at it. I noticed this change, and part of me was happy that he was not doing that behavior. Then one morning he woke up and was his old self!

It's amazing how thankful I now was for his stim behaviors. Of course I will still take the ideas the the physical therapist give and try to stop the behaviors, but I think my attitude is a little better about them. They are who he is. If you watch him and look past the behaviors being "special" you can see personality and joy. I'm thankful for the help for my attitude, although I know I still have a long way to go.

It's a fine line you have to take as a parent of a child with special needs. You want them to be better, but you have to realize that many of their issues are built into that mutated gene. You can never change that. All you can do is study up on new techniques, try to add exercises, but all the while accept them for who they are. Your child may never love your touch, because their senses will not allow it. It might hurt them to be touched in a way that you would never want. You may have to learn to love them the way that they need. It might mean a tight squeeze of the hand or it might just be their sweet smile, but it is their way, and as parents you learn to accept it.

"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Hebrews 13:5
 
In our journey, no matter how rough or different, we must be content knowing that He is with us every step of the way, and as the old Footprints poem said, when we couldn't see two sets of footprints on the sands of life, He was carrying us.

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