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Readers Respond: What Are You Thankful For About Your Child With Special Needs?

Responses: 67

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I've shared some reasons to give thanks for children with special needs -- now it's your turn! What makes you thankful about your child, or about your experience of special-needs parenting? Whether serious, silly, or sentimental, your thanks here will be a public testimony to our children's worth, something the wider world sometimes has trouble appreciating.

Special needs child

I have learned as an parent of a special needs child you apperacte the small things your child does as well as when someone helps you.
—Specialneedschild

Our greatest miracle

I am forever grateful for my almost six year old daughter, Natalie, who has overcome so many odds and continues to amaze not only doctors, but people who meet her that know her history. Born 15 weeks early, she had a grade 4 bilateral brain bleed causing hydrocephalus that required shunt placement, a blood clot in her heart, numerous blood transfusions, blood infections, epilepsy, severe developmental delay, cerebral palsy, and hydromyelia all due to here prematurity. We were told she would most likely be blind, deaf, tube fed and confined to a wheelchair. She is not blind, not deaf, can walk with her walker or holding ones hand, eats EVERYTHING, and continues to prove she can overcome! She has the most beautiful smile, infectious laugh, and such a beautiful human spirit. I've learned so much about life, unconditional love, kindness towards others all from this little girl I'm so proud to call mine :). God has chosen to make me one of the blessed on this Earth - Natalie's mommy.
—Guest Natalie's mommy

Angels from Above

I thought my job was to teach my daughter about the world. Turns out, my job is to teach the world about my daughter. She has Angelman Syndrome and is a blessing. She has a smile and laughter at inappropriate times. Sometimes I think we ALL need t laugh at inappropriate times. Children with Angelman Syndrome are called "angels." It's true. They really are!
—sydneyjayne

My sweet girl, Victoria

My 15 yr old daughter, Victoria, doesn't really have a labeled diagnosis. She is developmentally delayed, both physically & mentally. She has a generalized anxiety disorder and was diagnosed with a missing #2 chromosone a few years ago with 3 heart defects but because the diagnosis was a new discovery, nothing to compare to or refer to for help at this time. Victoria has always been a very happy girl. Up until recently, I don't even think she has noticed her delays. She really struggles with social skills and because of that, she has a hard time making friends. Most of her friends are less than half her age and even they sometimes don't want to play with her. I recently signed her up with her BFF doing cheer and dance with others that have disabilities. She seems to enjoy it alot and I have been googling to find her more activities and thinking about starting a blog to help me. I am so thankful for Victoria & the joy that she brings to our family. I know that she is a blessing from God
—Guest Denise Williams

God's In Control

My son is one of the most misunderstood children in our schools today, often falling through the cracks unnoticed. "Twice-Exceptional" term used for the children who are both "Gifted & Talented" with high IQ's but also disabilities. Because they are able to compensate for disability by high performances in several fields of education, educators assume that they can't be both and only identify the gifted. Eventually the stress from overcompensating leads to "Meltdown" with insulting remarks from the educators who eventually decide the child is not doing this... what happened to you... you used to be. I pulled my son out of that setting, became is #1 advocate, read everything I could get my hands on. He's made me whole, and more passionate about life/relationships/s.truggles/victories/and a loving God right there all the time giving me all I need day by day. Our journey is what life is intended to be, growing and becoming what we could never dream of for ourselves.
—2dancing21beat

My boys

I have 3 sons ages 16, 13 and 12. My oldest was severely developmentally delayed with learning disability thrown in. My middle, is autistic. My youngest is not on the spectrum but had a speech impairment that required quite a bit of therapy, as well. For years we had daily therapy, sometimes multiple therapies. My boys worked hard and are now mainstreamed and doing well. Everytime I hear Kenny Chesney's "Boys of Fall" I cry because my oldest son who was labled "educatorially untrainable" by an ignorant psychologist puts on his uniform with pride and joins his highschool team on the field. A winning touchdown couldn't be sweeter. My autistic son, who isn't supposed to get, was the first one to want to go take care of his dad when he got the flu. The sweet smiles, hugs and accomplishments that other parents would consider routine are anything but. My boys have made me a better person and I thank God for blessing me with all of them.
—aglmom5

Innocence and Love

My sweetheart tells me every day, at least 20 times a day, that he loves me and that I'm his "best fwend in da whole wold". I wouldn't trade his innocent joy in "childish" things or his unconditional love for anything in the world!
—ab_websearch

Toothbrushes

I have a 10 year old Down Syndrome stepson and he sure has his idiosyncrasies, like flicking himself on the nose and forehead with his toothbrush that he must have on him at just about all times. If he doesn't have a toothbrush on him he feels lost, he's a very energetic, funny little boy that's for sure and we do have our challenges with him but the laughter and blessings make up for it
—swaffi

Always Thankful

I am grateful for all the things my 10-year-old Down Syndrome child does or says. And I admire his stubborness because it gives him spunk! He has overcome Leukemia Cancer with such resilence and bravery that it just makes me want to try harder to be a upbeat person!
—Guest Elizabeth Branscumb

Dandy Walker

Victória 17 anos é a nossa jóia mais valiosa, é um anjo do bem. Agradecemos a Deus todos os dias, por compartilhar cada momento com ela. Victória é vitoriosa! linda, amada. Esse milagre é para poucos. Bjos-Abençoados Vic. Tia Nete. (Approximate English translation: "Victória 17 years is our most valuable jewel, is an angel of the good. We thank God every day for sharing each moment with her. Victória is victorious! pretty, loved. This miracle is for few. Blessed Vic. Aunt Nete.")
—Guest Ivonete Roldan

Sense of humor

I will be eternally thankful for my 23 year old son's wonderfully bizarre and sarcastic sense of humor that he pulls out at the best moments. :)
—Cathy760

A whole new world

Toby is four and a half years old and has global developmental delay and a language disorder. I have met and become friends with so many wonderful people due to Toby's special needs. Toby has opened up a whole new world for me - the world of special needs, where people have more compassion, are more open-minded and far less judgemental. I am so grateful that Toby is a happy and affectionate little boy, despite his challenges. He also has a great sense of humour and often makes us laugh! Even though he cannot yet talk, he makes his needs known by signing. He really wants to communicate! Toby is progressing with his development, even though sometimes it may seem to be happening very slowly. Thank you, Toby, for teaching me so much and for opening up a whole new world to me.
—tobysmum

I'm grateful for YOU

Without my son and his challenges, I would not have come here. I would not have learned about the realities of life for so many people. I would not have discovered that no matter how disabled someone may be, they are still a special gift to discover. I would not have learned the grace you and your readers bring to a tough situation. I love my kids, and would no matter what. But it's a genuine pleasure to have discovered YOU, and to add you to the good in life.
—sylrayj

thankful bunches for amie

im thankful for everything about my 14 year old daughter amie jo who has downsyndrome she has taught our family to be careful of words that come out of our mouths because you never know who you could be offending or whose feelings you could hurt and she has taught true love and that slowing down and taking extra time in life is a good thing and extra hard work makes achieving the goal that much more special.
—Guest missy

challenges

People always say that challenges make us stronger; each week I learn more and more what it is like to live in the world my son lives in. Dylan is 14 with Asperger's Syndrome & generalized anxiety disorder, and it causes a host of special challenges for him. I do not always rise in response to the many challenges I face in parenting him, or his beautiful little sisters, but each day he greets me with a hug, and a smile, and never looks at me with even a sniff of believing me the failure as a parent that I often think I am. There is nothing more I could ever be more thankful for as a parent; to have a son, who amidst his challenges and struggles makes me believe I will rise up, just like him, above it all.
—Guest Joe Carreiro

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