If there is one thing I have learned over the past fourteen years as a mother of a child with a disability, it is there are many special people that will be placed along your path or journey. I never had a clue that so many people would enter my family’s world as a result of my child's disabilities.
They have come in so many different walks of life. We have had bus drivers who have taken the time to make the children with disabilities stockings at Christmas with special goodies and toys in them. There are barbers that have taken the time to make sure they see our son early in the day, when no one else is around so his hair can be cut with no distractions or noises, which helps keep him calm.
His elementary school that he attended for 8 years was AMAZING! The school secretary came and supported him at the annual Autism Walk. The principal found out that my son would get to throw out the first pitch of the local Triple A Baseball League Team for Autism Night and selected him to do the Walk of Fame at school. Only two students did the Walk of Fame the whole year. The school nurse, teacher, teacher assistants and I cried during graduation because we had gotten so close and knew how hard it would be to say goodbye.
My son is a “Rock Star” at his pediatrician's office. They love him for who he is. They bend over backward to help. Not only in how they do their regular daily jobs but going above and beyond to make sure we don't get stranded without medications on holidays. They have held my hand, many a day, through tears being shed when stress was taking over and there seemed to be no end in sight.
We seem to live at the local pharmacy, with our constant pick up of medications. They too are angels in disguise making things work when things seem hopeless.
I work in the healthcare field and, of course, my older patients are always asking if I have children. When I tell them about my two boys, they are always so concerned. One patient was kind enough to give our names to the local Lion's Club and my son just received an adaptive bike. I had wanted to get him that bike for years, but we were unable to afford it. He received it two days before Christmas and was on cloud nine. He thinks he is on top of the world. I cannot ever remember seeing him so happy.
Yes, the many people we have met along our path, whether they are doctors, teachers, neighbors, friends, even complete strangers will surprise you and always hold a special place in your heart. In our family, we have even been known to call them guardian angels!
To learn more ways people can help with your child, go to Navigating Life - Parenting Children with Disabilities on this website.
Before I had my son, I was a special education teacher. I was one of those teachers who believed that these "special" kids needed to be kept safe. After teaching in a self-contained special education class, my views slowly started to change.