Like everyone else I never thought that they would have a child with special needs. But I did. I knew that Kyler was special when he was born. He was born 3 weeks early by caesarean section, and weighed only 5 lbs. He was a clingy baby, always needing his mommy, never wanted to be left alone. When he got older, he was saying all kinds of words; book, bird, water, etc.
Then all of a sudden the words stopped. I didn’t hear the word mommy until he was almost 4. I would take him out with other moms and their kids, but I would always leave in tears. Kyler wouldn’t listen to me. I heard everything: “You need to learn to parent”, “Why think about more kids when you can’t even be a mom to the one you have?”, “You are definitely not cut out to be a parent.” Their words hurt, but I pushed on.
When Kyler turned 3, we were told that Kyler was Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Then he turned 4 we were told that he was Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and when he was 6 we learned that he was Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified, basically putting him on the Autism Spectrum.
But you know what? I’m not a bad mom, God graced me a beautiful little boy, who is smart, witty, funny and incredibly sweet. Kyler has taught me tolerance, and patience. He gifts me with laughter, and intelligence. A child with special needs can teach a person so much, without the child ever knowing it. It brings people closer together, and makes a person become more aware of the world around them.
No, I never thought that I would have a child with special needs, but I can’t imagine the world without him.
* Stories From the Heart is an ongoing series of user contributed heart warming stories, that shine light on the special needs experience.