Did you ever wonder about Special Needs? I mean, what it looks like, what family life is like, how people adjust to children with different needs, whether they be emotional, cognitive, behavioral or developmental or physical?
A few years ago, I would have confidently said, "we don't do special needs."However, our son Isaiah has changed our outlook, or maybe it was God changing our hearts!! We now know that any children added to our family will be special needs. They will have some issue, some illness, behavior, or delay that is termed, "special need". In the case of our 2 new daughters, their special need is quite simply age, although Rosalyn does has a repaiared cleft lip as well.
We have acknowledged that physical special needs can be challenging, as can mental and developmental.Let's face it, all special needs are stretching for the family. But, I wouldn't have it any other way. We see love, laughter, joy, excitement, fulfillment, growth, and many other things as we parent our boys with extra needs. It can be frustrating at times, it can be exhausting, it can be difficult, BUT, it is also truly a delight to watch them come out of their shell, to grow, to acquire new abilities, to accomplish tasks, to comprehend beyond what we thought they would understand, and to begin to truly understand what being a part of a family is all about.
In the past couple months, we have watched our little rag doll Isaac blossom into a true, independent toddler. Exploring, learning, challenging, enjoying, and loving have all become words we use with him. He is truly becoming loving, truly accepting us, truly accepting his boundaries (ok, not ALL the time) and learning that he has a momma and daddy and siblings that will be here for him.
Isaiah has gained so much confidence, he has gained so much strength, body control, and tried so many new things, and loves it when he succeeds at something that 6 months ago he could not have done.
Our home is filled with lots of therapy type toys, tons of educational opportunities, and lots of daily learning happens, even in the midst of daily life.
I spend a lot of time trying to implement pt, ot and st (occupational, physical and speech therpay) into our day, but when you see success, and you see them come out of their shells, and you see the light come into their eyes, it is all worth the extra work and energy it takes to parent boys with special needs.
Blessings abound as we continue on this journey with special needs children.
Below are some pictures of a day in April when my mom came for a visit. She got a first hand experience of our "pre-school", as we played with stacking pegs and tubes and tents. Yes, it takes time, energy, and money to meet their needs and help them, but wow, what would we do without them?
Isaac shows Grandma how to stack (and throw) pegs
Isaiah and Tyler enjoy playing together too
Isaiah's eye-hand coordination is so much better, and the control he has for fine-motor skills has really improved
Our living room becomes a tent city when we give them time in their tunnels and ball tents! and they all love it
Thanks for stopping by for a tour of a day with 2 little boys with special needs!