Dealing with Special Needs

I am a hard-headed person.  I know that.  I embrace that.  I hate that about myself.  Growing up, I had (have) wonderful parents.  I was blessed with Martha and Pop.  Pop’s work ethic was amazing.  He knew that he needed to do what he needed to do to provide for his family.  By being dedicated to his job, that meant, giving up a lot of ball games, band concerts, and awards ceremonies.  My mom made up for his absence because she was always there…she is everywhere….even when you don’t realize it!  I also am a privileged kid because I had an extra set of parents; Susie and Frank.  They lived across the street from us and my mom and Susie are the best of the best of friends….my siblings and I would flit between houses and we were held to a high standard by both sets of parents.

I, too, have high standards.

I set the bar really high for my kids.  I do so because I believe in their abilities to reach for the stars and to achieve the goals that they have set for themselves.  I do not want perfection out of my kids.  That is unattainable…only One perfect Person walked on the face of the planet and that Person is my Jesus.  I do, however, expect my kids to work hard and to do what I know they are capable of.  I do not believe in using bad beginnings (for my kids born in the heart) as a crutch to get by in life.  Overcome, forgive and move on.  I live by that and I want that for my kids.

One of my children had a bad beginning….full of prenatal abuse and post-natal abuse.  The problems that this particular child has was not so evident when this child was younger.  There was a speech issue, but pretty much a happy, inventive, creative, chubby little piece of work.  As the years have moved on….the differences between this child and other children the same age is like an ocean.  I see my child in a little dingy riding the waves of the ocean, while his peers are on yachts zooming to a private island.  There is a huge gap between this child and the children that he has grown up with.

It hurts my heart to know that he will struggle every day of his life when it comes to academics, reading, learning, remembering small details.  I wonder what he will do…will he ever be able to function outside the walls of our home and away from the bubble that we keep him in.  He has been picked on because of his speech impediment.  He has cried many tears because he just can’t remember and he says that he can’t do things because his brain doesn’t work or that he is lase (he spells using phonetics….the word is “lazy”).

Today, as I was sitting in the dark room watching him in speech/reading therapy….I felt weepy.  He went through a battery of testing that was to determine if he had dyslexia.  Dyslexia is the developmental reading disorder is a reading disability that occurs when the brain does not properly recognize and process certain symbols.  He has been in therapy for a while now…we started him in PT, OT, SLP when he moved in with us.  He has been in some sort of therapy ever since.

We have been blessed with an amazing “overseer” and some fantastic people who work with him.  They have been so patient with him and so loving.  This testing was hard on him.  He sat through 4 hours of testing over the course of a couple of weeks.  His “results” will be in on Thursday.  Today, I have been informed that he is EXTREMELY dyslexic and that we really need to focus on his strengths because his weaknesses are so bad.  It is something that I needed to hear, but didn’t want too.  I have to face the truths and I have to get over it so I can help him be the best that he can be.

And I will.


But today, I’m pissed. (sorry mom…I know you hate that word but I didn’t say dyslexia sucks…which it does cause I know you hate the word sucks too).

I’ll accept it tomorrow.


Then again, tomorrow I may just drink chicken broth and play a game.

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  • My bio son has dyslexia and I did everything right while I was pregnant… Took all the vitamins, moderate exercise, lots of rest… It just happens. God will used your young one in mighty ways! I know it’s hard, especially the months of August to May in our house… Summer is awesome with NO school! I try and remember all of the things he is great at… that he is kind, gentle, funny, and the best son and brother out there, but yes, some days it just sucks!

    • Doesn’t it though!!!!!!!!??????? I know that there are lots of people out in the world that struggle with this. I think what hits so hard is that the gap is SO HUGE between him and his peers. It isn’t so much the dyslexia as the fetal alcohol syndrome….school years suck. No way around that. I do A LOT of math (he is excellent at math) and then we do kadoodles, Titanic, and other mind training games. He loves those and he is good at them. He can take a box of legos and transform them into all sorts of amazing things with no instructions. He is very creative and so sensitive. One thing…one more thing…that is having an affect is the fact that his brother, two years his junior, is flying past him. He has already caught up and in some areas surpassed my other son. That hurts my son terribly….but what can I do….I can’t keep one from learning and I can’t seem to do enough to help the other one. Parenting is so hard. Thank you for your encouragement!

      • You’re doing a great job! My 1st grader has almost passed my 4th grade son too… It’s so hard! My son is good at math too and Legos! 🙂

      • Those CREATIVE minds…gotta love it! Nice to know our boys are all in the same grade and facing the same issues! Today we worked on spelling words from week 1 to week 12 (first grade words) for my 4th grader. He didn’t get 9 out of 96 words. He self corrected some when I pointed them out…the words WHEN, ALL, AND THEY he couldn’t get at all. Now, we are taking those missed spelling words and he is creating sentences around them. He also struggles with sentence construction and writing his letters from bottom to top. He doesn’t transpose too much….

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