It's a question most parents of children with special needs have asked themselves: Would I turn my child into a typical child if I could? For some, the answer is an unequivocal yes. For others, a child's disability may be so woven into his personality that it's difficult to imagine the same loved kid without it. Share your own thoughts about your own unique child here and parenting experience here.
Share Your Thoughts
Considering the Future
- I would definitely change my son to a more typical child. I am concerned for his future...when school is over. I have no idea what his days will be like, what he will do. I don't know about his future...how he will manage on his own...IF he will ever be able to manage on his own. He doesn't seem to be growing up mentally at all. Sometimes I wonder if an institution would be a better fit for him. He can't stand for anyone to be in his room and while he's home, he won't come out and sit with the family or interact at all. I believe sometimes that he may be beginning to understand how different he is from his siblings. He can't stand the noise they make...even speaking to them seems to annoy him. The school system is useless. They aren't educating him AT ALL. There's no where for us to turn. We are all hopeless, sad and unhappy.
- —Guest Kim Armstead
Finding the words
- I have a wonderful child with a rare genetic disorder. Would I wish that my child have a life of pain, suffering, challenge? Never! Do I live in the shadow of the pain of knowing her life is destined to be shorter than others? Absolutely. But.... if to wish that my child were different is to wish that she is not my girl, then I would NEVER wish that she were different. Be extremely careful in overlooking the many blessings that come with the unique and wonderful experience of having a child that is not typical. My child is also non-verbal, and while I will not hear her call me "Mommy," I also won't hear her say "I hate you," or "You make me sick," or " I would rather be with my friends." She may never go to college, walk down an aisle to marry or have children of her own....and she will never get in a car with someone who will rob her of her innocence, be tempted to use drugs or run away from home. God is good.
- —Guest Mommy to a Precious Angel
- I wish I could hear my daughter say, "Mommy." She is non-verbal, can't toilet herself and basically functions at a 2-year-old level although she is 11-1/2. She has NO diagnosis, which makes this journey even harder for some reason. I love her very much; I just want her to be a typically-developing child. I feel awful most of the time, wishing she were normal and wondering what her purpose is in life and therefore what mine is.
- —Guest demelzabunny
- Well I've been reading "Far From the Tree" by Andrew Solomon (have you as well?), so I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I'd get rid of the pain, that's for sure, and I'd give my guy the ability to play the sports he so loves. That's it. He's completely delightful the way he is -- but he is sad sometimes about his own issues, so I'll cite those as up for change in a perfect world.
- I wouldn't have her any other way than the way she is, special needs and all! Things are a challenge, but I know that God gave her to us for a specific reason. As parents, we CAN influence change for the better. "Do what you can, and God will do what you cannot."
- —Guest DonT
A Parent's Thought
- I would not like to change my child; I love her just the way she is. The only thing I want to change is how others view and treat her. They do not understand the impact of isolation and her wanting to fit in. My child is beautiful, loving, caring, and is compassionate of others. If I could change one thing, I can honestly say nothing!! God gave me my special needs child for a reason and it is his life plan for us -- plain and simple.
- —Guest lele
Oh yes I would
- I would take the brain condition called Hydrocephalus away from my 3yo boy in a flash. I wish he did not have this condition, because of this he cannot walk yet, he cannot talk the way he should be and a host of other things. I love him no matter what though, nothing can change that. He is making great strides and he is amazing, I just wish this did not happen to him.
- —Guest ann
- I've thought about this many times in my 16 years parenting my beautiful son who is completely dependent on his family to care for his every basic need. He cannot communicate his needs or desires or even return our gaze. If he could walk and talk and care for himself, he wouldn't be the same person. We wouldn't know him at all. I love my son just the way he is. The world may see him as broken and disabled, but he is our saint on earth, perfect and whole in God's eyes. He has never back-talked, never disobeyed. Without one word or look, he teaches us, and anyone who takes the time to get to know him, so many life lessons. I wouldn't "heal" him if I could, though I'd love to take away his seizures and figure out a way for him to communicate his needs and desires.
In a heartbeat
- I would change my son in a heartbeat. I want my funny, clever, flirty, giggly baby back. I want to hear him say Mama. I want him to be able to tell us what his needs are. I want him to be happy again. I want to be able to sit and play wih my three children and give all three the attention that they need and deserve. I want my children not to have to fight so hard to get time with mom. I want my children to have a happy mom, not this tired, sore, sad shell. I want to be able to talk to other moms at the playground. Most days I wish I could even bring my children to the playground to play safely. I want to be able to make friends, which has not happened in 18 months in a new country, and no family or friends here.
I wish I could stop worrying incessantly about my two special-needs children's future, and the effect it is having on their sister. I yesterday wished on his birthday that my son had never been born. Makes me feel like a horrible person, but I love all my children so much it hurts.
- —Guest Eldy
- If I had the power to heal my child of autism, I would not hesitate to use it. Would I love him more if he did not have autism? The answer is an unequivocal "No." Would he have greater value as a human being? Again, the answer is "No." Would his healing end all of his or my problems? No -- but just as there are things about myself I would change if I could (the effect of gravity on various parts of my body being one), I would heal my child.
- —Guest Christina Willis
Just one thing
- I would love it if my son could talk. It's sometimes difficult to figure out what he wants or needs and if he could tell me what it is, I would love that. I'd also like to hear what he thinks and what his dreams are. He can say "Mom" and that melts my heart, but I wish he could say more. I hope some day he can.
- —Guest Julie
I will love my child for who she is!
- I'm in the process to adopt a special child. Some people cannot understand why I could love an unrelated special need child, but I would not "trade" her for any other "typical" child! I have not met her yer in person, but her smile in her picture captured my heart, and her young facial expression tells me plenty of who she is deep inside! I know instantly the moments I saw her picture that I would love and accept her for who she is and who she can become later in life!
- —Guest Vivienne Tran
A little bit
- I miss being able to hug my son. He lost faith in our world, and me as a part of it - and I miss him. He used to count on me, because I understood him like few others could. That's still true, but he doesn't need the same things of me any more, and I feel left behind. I know all parents will go through much the same thing, but it'd be nice if he could just tolerate physical affection again. I know that when he graduates, I can't give him a hug of pride. When he gets ready to leave for college, same thing. I expect this is what at least some of us would want to change - the ability of our kids to show us love and affection, and receive it in kind. I just miss his hugs. :(
- —Guest sylrayj