Monday, June 16, 2008

Encouragement

I've written a little before about my son Isaac. Isaac is a bright boy, with a gorgeous smile, stop-you-in-your-tracks dimples, and brings laughter with him where ever he goes.

Isaac also falls into the dubious category of "special needs." I'm not even sure what I think about that label. I have not decided yet whether I like to use it or not. It still causes me to pause and reflect that I have a child who has special needs. I do, not someone else, not other families, not a passerby in the store - but me.

There is still no official decision on what sort of needs Isaac is affiliated with, whether it be Asperger's Syndrome, an Auditory Processing Delay, or an actual Language Disorder.

In the past two years we've seen such huge progress in leaps and bounds for Isaac. In comparison to his previous struggles he is flourishing. He enjoys activities that the not special, average children do ;-) haha.. I couldn't help myself with that one, sorry. Previously he wouldn't be able to engage in such ways, but now loves digging in the dirt, climbing trees, playing t-ball, Frisbee, light saber battles, and trying to outrun anyone who will give him the opportunity to race. When we go new places he is now actively engaging new friends to play and talk. In all the growth I find myself occasionally forgetting that Isaac is not the same as the children he interacts with.

It's moments like recently reading through the report from a Speech Pathologist who has evaluated Isaac, so we can get him back into speech therapy, when I remember there is still an upwards hill to climb.

I feel a vice squeeze my mother's heart when I read things like "moderate delay" and "moderate to severe impairment" "inability to complete age appropriate..." "displays clear difficulty" and on and on through 12 very long, gut wrenching pages.

I think the natural response to seeing your child's struggles laid out before you, especially for mothers, is to feel as though you have in someway failed your child. At least that's the feeling that has come back to me over and over again through the past few years. My son, how could my son that I love so much and give everything possible to, is struggling - what haven't I done? How have I failed him?

I then start to question if I can really do best by him. Can I really educate Isaac best? Can I be the one to help get through to him to teach him? Will I hamper his growth?

A revelation that I came to that has been really important to me to remember is this : my son is not broken that I need to send him to someone else to be repaired. My son was also given to me by God because I will follow His leading and speak to Isaac in a direct way that he can understand - that only I know how to do.

I write this today for mom's who question if they were really meant for the job that is at hand before them.

When you feel unqualified because you're facing a Goliath sized task, that clearly you have no experience in, remember you have all you need. (Ph. 4:19)

When you wonder if God knew what He was doing when He placed a specific child in your home, remember that He knows the plans He has for you and that child and unsurprisingly to Him they involve you both together. (Jer. 29:11)
When you see your child struggle, whether it's a special needs child or not, do not take to mean that their struggles are a result of your failure - your child is not broken. He is dearly loved and created by One who knows him perfectly, and will give you all the wisdom you need to raise him should you seek Him. (Ps. 139:13, James 1:5, Heb. 13:20-21)
He has given you your children and your tasks, no matter how "special" the difficulties may be, because He can make it possible.

Made for me by Isaac, "just because."

6 comments:

Amy said...

I just wanted to offer ya some hugs. Being a teacher for years and working in Pediatrics, I love that you-- YOU are taking this upon yourself.- THAT's being a great mom.
You have done nothing wrong.. and truth be told, I know you have a special guy there.
Chin up-- doing a wonderful job.

A~

danica said...

GREAT Bible truths, Katie. Thanks for sharing them.

I'm glad you're Isaac's mom. (And I kinda think God is, too. :))

Kristin said...

Wonderful post, Katie! I like what you said about him not being broken. And that he doesn't need to be sent away to thrive and learn as God wants him to. I wish you lived in my town-- I think we could be great friends. (Who knows? In this big blogging world, maybe we do. :-))

Jenn said...

Big Hugs from me to you! You are a great mom and I can tell how much you love Isaac. It is hard to understand why- when a child has special needs. My Jacob has dyslexia that is pretty profound. He also struggles with ADHD. At first I spent a lot of time wondering why. Now like you, I just lean on the Lord.
My sister has a son who has PPD-NOS. They told her as he gets older they may find he has Aspbergers. She has a blog where she has written some about it. She doesn't post as often as we do, but she has great insight. If your interested you'll find her blog listed in my blog roll. It is Small Moments Captured.
Sorry this is so long! Just wanted you to know that you are not alone and that we're pullin' for ya!

Christie O. said...

Beautiful post. You are exactly right about that. God gave him to you because he knew you were the one who could love him and teach him. He is lucky to have you for a mom.

Jenna said...

You hit the nail on the head. Our Heavenly Father knew exactly what he was doing when he sent us the children he has.

Just today, I was talking to a librarian about one of my children and I said something like, "I'm not sure if I'm equipped best to fill my child's need."

Even as the words left my mouth, the spirit whispered to me, "Yes you are. I sent you this child and you CAN best fill this child's needs."

It was a comfort to me because sometimes I feel so inadequate.