Just Some Thoughts ~ 6 of 7

A Life Long Adventure ~ Just Some Thoughts by Cathy Zimmerman

Having a child with disabilities isn’t easy, especially when the disability isn’t obvious.  One friend speaking to a group of moms said, “If you see a mom with a special needs child, don’t feel sorry for her, but pray for her.”  Absolutely!  With AS, it’s a little more difficult, because the disability is not so obvious.

Many people have made many suggestions about treatments for our son.  We appreciate their kind intentions, but it would completely wear us all out chasing after every single recommendation.  Not all people have said kind things.  One person, knowing that our son was adopted, stated, “Too bad they can’t send him back.”  That broke my heart.  Our son is so kind and loving, I wouldn’t “send him back” even if I could.  He is loved by us, and most importantly by our Awesome God.  Our mission is to keep him on the path that God has designed for him, as hard as that is at times.  My wish for the person who made that statement is that they would get to know my son and how truly wonderful he is as a person, not just how quirky he is because of a disability.

A child with a disability, albeit not physical, takes a lot of time.  I have learned to let a lot of things go while I focus on my son and his needs.  The devotional book “Come Away My Beloved” by Frances J. Roberts has on the very first devotional page this statement, “Tarry not for an opportunity to have more time to be alone with Me.  Take it, though you leave the tasks at hand. Nothing will suffer.  Things are of less importance than you think.”  That was a gift of freedom from God that I cried over!  Freeing? Absolutely!  Immediately put into perfect practice?  Are you kidding?!?  I am so very human, and still want my house to be at least presentable for surprise visits.  I’m letting go of this desire too, although it’s more like having a tooth pulled.

We home school both of our children by God’s direction, but our son specifically, because he could not stand the “atmosphere” in the ECSE class, and we could see a “wall” go up around him as soon as he entered the school building.  It didn’t make for very productive school/therapy sessions.  Home schooling isn’t easy with a special needs child, but, yes, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Especially when it’s His idea!  It simply makes more sense to be able to tailor the curriculum and layout of the day to my son’s abilities and learning style.  If we are having a horrible day, we switch to life skills or an impromptu field trip.  Pressing on through complete frustration is not fruitful, and has a tendency to bring on the “I quit!” reaction.  There’s a lot of ugly that comes with that reaction.

Another option for a break is camps designed especially for autistic and AS children.  AuSM (the Autism Society of Minnesota) has camps for children, as well as a wealth of information and educational opportunities.  You can check out their website at www.ausm.org.  There may be a similar organization in your locale, so check into it.  This is another valuable tool for the tool belt!

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