Kids With Special Needs are NOT Given to Special People

I have had the pleasure of being a momma to a child with special needs for seven and a half years, my dear Connor. In these amazing seven and a half years, I have done everything possible to give my child who has multiple complex medical needs the best life imaginable. I have fought doctors on what I knew was best for him, marched the front steps at the State Capital rallying for his rights, and even traveled around the world seeking treatment to give him a better quality of life. To say I’m a “momma bear” is an complete understatement.

In all these years I have heard from family, friends, and strangers about what a great job I am doing raising my Connor man. I look down, shift my feet around, and quietly say thank you. Then the dreaded words are said. “God only gives special kids to special people.” I kindly smile on the outside, but on the inside I scream. I HATE that saying. I KNOW that these sweet people only have the most genuine thoughts behind this, but they need to know the truth-God can give anyone, YES ANYONE, a child with special needs.

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I am not special. I am not more deserving of a little miracle child more than the next momma. I am not that parent that goes to all the class parties with homemade cupcakes, makes the latest Pinterest project on organizing my laundry room, or even the parent who remembers to sign the test folder every Tuesday evening. Nope, that is not me. I am ordinary and boring. I am late to doctors appointments, I yell at drivers who don’t use their blinkers, and I cringe when I see other moms at Target with their buggies full of organic foods and their well-behaved kids sweetly following behind. Agh! But I do know one thing, I am a parent. I, like millions of other women, was so graciously given a child from God. My child just so happened to be born with special needs.

The feelings you encounter when finding out the news your perfect child isn’t so perfect is astounding. One can wallow in self pity, hate God for “doing” this to their child, and just accept that life for that precious child will be less than good. OR one can seek the good in a not so pleasant situation, find a greater faith in God, and never accept anything less than perfect for their little miracle. It is all in a matter of thinking. Having a child with any special need at all takes a strong person, and if you aren’t strong at first, you must start lifting the emotional weights that life will be throwing at you. How you take on the responsibilities of this new life will ultimately determine what type of parent you will be.

We’ve all heard that saying, “God will never give you more than you can handle.” I call that BS. My God is a loving God, but a challenging one. He wants to see me thrive and grow into the person that I was meant to be. Challenges along the way are all a part of the journey He has created for me, how I deal with them is up to me. God WILL give me more than I can handle, BUT He guides me and gives me the grace to encounter them.

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In the past month I have read 6 news articles on parents of children with special needs who have done horrendous, mind blowing things to them. One mother poured perfume down her child’s feeding tube, another parent killed his oh so special child because he wouldn’t stop crying, and on and on. Now please tell me again, God only gives special kids to special parents? Ummmm…no thank you. It’s a sweet thought, but it’s just not true. I would hate to even think for one second that I could be put in the same category as any of these parents. God gives us gifts in the form of our beautiful children, special or not. He expects us to take care of them, love them, and protect them.

I consider it a blessing to have my beautiful Connor. I’m thankful every single day for being able to raise such a precious miracle, BUT not every parent is like me. When you are given a child with needs that are far greater than you can imagine, you must rise to the challenge and become the parent that the child needs and whose life depends on it. It will be a tough, long road full of pot holes and dangerous curves trying to throw you off course.

The next time you see a parent with a child with special needs doing a wicked awesome job tell them exactly that. A simple, “Hey little momma, you are doing a crazy amazing job raising that precious child of yours!” or even “Wow!! I could only hope there are more parents like you out there!” or how about “You and your child are a match made in Heaven!” For most of us parents in the special needs world KNOW that our child is a blessing, however we could most definitely use a kind word telling us that perhaps we are a blessing also.

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This is the first post of one of our newest contributors, Katie! We are looking forward to many more great posts from this awesome momma!

 

37 Responses to Kids With Special Needs are NOT Given to Special People

  1. Angela Chiantella July 8, 2014 at 7:55 am #

    Katie,
    Your actions are what Grace and Faith are defined from. I have often felt the same way when hearing the statement. Connor got that amazing spirit from you. You both are an inspiration, the world needs more people like you.

    • Fran Poole November 7, 2014 at 9:59 pm #

      Wonderful article! My son is 31 years old and I deal with this constantly. Sometimes, I just want to slap people who mean well. LOL. Katie, I agree with you!!!!!

  2. Rashmi July 8, 2014 at 8:04 am #

    Thanks for writing this. I couldn’t have said it any better. I will definitely be sharing this. My son sounds a lot like your little one. All the best to you and your family.

  3. Cal's Mom July 8, 2014 at 8:10 am #

    Thank you for taking the time to write these words of truth. We get so tired of hearing the phrase that I actually have become numb to it. God gave me Cal because He wants me to be all I can be and grow into a deeper relationship with Him. My son is visually impaired, deaf, wheelchair bound, and fed with a feeding tube, so like you, life is a daily struggle with medical problems I never knew existed. Again, thank you so much for this and may God bless each of you.

  4. jana h. July 8, 2014 at 8:17 am #

    Beautiful words! You guys are definitely a match made in Heaven. Keep it up. You were certainly a blessing to me this morning!

  5. Katie
    Katie July 8, 2014 at 8:46 am #

    You are all too sweet! Thank you so very much for you kind words this morning!!! I consider it such an honor to be a part of the special needs world and Connor man’s mom!

  6. Jennifer July 8, 2014 at 9:31 am #

    This brought tears to my eyes. I have felt the same thing. We do what we do because we have to. I know I would not have signed up for this willingly but that doesn’t mean I don’t love my little girl. Now I just want the best I can for her and I’ll fight for it if I need to. One thing I can do is teach my kids acceptance of special needs. My son said hello to a boy in Walmart his mom was just overcome with appreciation when she realized he was talking to her son. All he saw was a little boy. It made her day and mine.

  7. Ashley Hawthorne July 8, 2014 at 9:34 am #

    What a beautiful post! Thanks for sharing, Katie. Connor looks like the sweetest snuggle bug in the world! God bless you all!

  8. Jennifer July 8, 2014 at 10:26 am #

    Thank You!!!!!well written& right to the point

  9. Kellie July 8, 2014 at 10:48 am #

    Katie, I am a Mom of a special needs child who is now 21 years old. When people start to feel sorry for me I tell them not to bother. My child has Down Syndrome and will never be able to live independently. However, she is as normal a member in our family as any other person. I constantly thank God for all four of my children. I tell people that I am lucky because all of the hard things people assume we are living just disappear. Yes we deal with hardships but over time these things just become normal daily life and not some special “super person” deeds but just the deeds of an ordinary mom. I can relate to your article because I feel the same way. Thanks for putting it out there in such a clear but kind way. Oh, and by the way, I think you are doing a great job. Kellie

  10. Edward July 8, 2014 at 10:48 am #

    Katie, I really enjoyed reading this story. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I have met many parents that feel the same way that you do, and me and my wife agree as well. God blessed us with 3 beautiful children. The fact that one of them has special needs doesn’t mean that God thought I cold handle it better than someone else, and I am not an amazing parent because I have fought for the best for my special needs daughter. I am a God loving parent who wants to show all 3 of my daughters how to love God fully, even in the difficult times. We only need to look to God because he can carry us through. God bless you and your family.

  11. Cassie July 8, 2014 at 11:19 am #

    Loooovvvveeee this Katie!

  12. Sharon Strange July 8, 2014 at 12:36 pm #

    Thank you so much for these words! They so sound like my husband. He is the eprimary caregiver to youngest with special needs. He too responds with “Just doing what I should be doing” when people compliment his care of her. His faith in God is his source.

    Thanks again from a “not so special family.”

  13. Aimee schaper July 8, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

    Bravo! Well said my dear!! I am new (9months new) to this club and you hit the nail on the head! I have heard the same things and thought the same thoughts but I absolutely love the “start lifting the emotional weights” line oh so true!! God bless you and you amazing family! Thanks for the inspirational words!!
    Aimee

  14. Colleen July 8, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

    Katie, As a former Special Needs mother myself (MY Connor – seriously, same name – passed earlier this year) I must tell you how eerie it is to read this posting. I wrote a very similar one about 2 months ago regarding the fact that I don’t believe for a second that God “gave” me my son because I was strong enough to handle all the extras that come along with special needs. Good luck to you, and your Connor, and much love. I know you are strong, and when you feel that you aren’t, you already know where to go to draw the strength you need.
    Colleen

  15. Heather COle July 8, 2014 at 4:44 pm #

    Seriously….thank you for saying what I have been screaming for 2 years…. God does not create genetic disorders, mistakes in nature happen, and does not “pick” parents! Every time someone says “You were chosen” I want to say, ‘that’s just an excuse for you to think you couldn’t possibly be handed one of these little one’s’…you’re not strong enough. But the truth is these precious one’s, like my son, also a tubie, is making me stronger day by day. But with all the love and passion in the world for him I am tired, and strained, and overwrought, and yet always finding joy in what the Lord has in store for me when I am least expecting it! God delights in good things, and hurts with us when we hurt, and when we hurt for our children who go through things we would have never chosen for them in our wildest imagination!

  16. Ange July 8, 2014 at 9:25 pm #

    Love this!:)

  17. Jayne July 8, 2014 at 9:33 pm #

    Thanks for a great article….I agree …God does give us what we cannot handle…I am reminded daily how much He helps me handle…and sometimes when I see teenage girls I believe I deal with my daughter much better than I probaably would deal with a typical one. Lol

  18. Jen July 8, 2014 at 10:09 pm #

    ask anyone, I am the “strongest, toughest mom to a special needs kid” that you will ever encounter. What they don’t know? That after 13 years of raising him, a divorce, lack of family support, I was almost one of the moms above. There was a moment, when Nebraska established a safe haven law, that there was a loophole. It wasn’t just for newborns, but for kids of all ages. At one point, I literally had his things packed. I was a crazed, exhausted mom who had done too much for too long. My hair was, literally, falling out. I was anxious yet exhausted. Suffering from PTSD from raising a child who keeps trying to die on me. I was jumpy and tired all at the same time. We didn’t go to Nebraska that day, but that day, I decided that the only way he would get help would be for me to no longer be here. That way, he’s going to be taken care of by the state. My family couldn’t watch him, he’s too much for them, his deadbeat dad remarried and had “healthy” boys and no longer contacted us. Do you have any idea how terrifying it is to think that suicide is the only way to get the help you need? And how scary it was, when I thought that and it made PERFECT sense?? So, no, God doesn’t only give you what you can handle. Sometimes, it’s all just too much. Moms killing special needs kids, killing themselves…
    What did happen, once I regained some composure, was I hired an attorney to sue the state for refusing to place him in a group home. He’s there now. He’s 20 years old and I am happy and healthy and so is he. He has full time caregivers (funny how it takes a TEAM to do what we do alone) and when we see each other now, I’m not a crazed lunatic.
    I met a woman, years ago, when my son was..idk..2 maybe? 3? she had a special needs son. She told me “honey. It only gets harder”. I truly thought “there is NO way it gets harder than this”. Wow. Does it ever. Planning for adulthood and what happens next. Point is, it’s not hopeless, but think about these things now. Don’t wind up despondent with no where to turn and start thinking thoughts that you would have never thought imaginable. So, is this the hardest job you’ll ever have? you bet. Are there ways to deal with it? absolutely.

  19. Debby July 9, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

    I couldn’t have said it better! Hate when I am told I was chosen for my 19 yo son with genetic disorder Canavan. Ironically I was a liason to the pediatric neurology clinic for a short while after my child psychiatry training. we do what we need to do, and as you noted, not everyone is up to the challenge. AND it is a challenge

  20. Uniqua W. July 9, 2014 at 5:56 pm #

    For you to write something so beautiful, Katie, means a lot.
    Understand that not many people truly appreciate the grace of God in their lives.
    Continuing to give Connor the love and support that you do is so inspiring…

    Katie, it really is incredible what you’ve done with what God gave you.
    God bless Connor and the wonderful parents he has been blessed with.
    Of course, words don’t mean much coming from people who haven’t experienced what you have…
    Don’t let that discourage you. People truly care, and people want to express their faith and love.

  21. J. Michele July 9, 2014 at 9:31 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your story because it is filled with hope and encouragement. You are an awesome mom doing what any “real” parent would do which is take care of the gift that God has given. Blessings to you and your family.

  22. Sheila July 10, 2014 at 12:08 am #

    Great article. Is that a picture of your son at Give Kids the World? We just got back and I was simply amazed with the place and the people.

  23. Terri A July 10, 2014 at 8:51 am #

    Thank you for sharing your heart. I am not a parent of a child with special needs. I am a relative of a grown person now deceased who was a special needs child. Thank you for expressing so honestly the feelings of a parent of a special needs person. I always admired my grandparents for the loving care they provided for my aunt. They had absolutely no education of any sort. They were sharecroppers. However, they raised my special needs aunt just like the rest of their 12 children. I was raised to respect her and her needs. I am so thankful for the example they set. I try to be careful about using trite words and phrases with people who are dealing with any difficult situations. Thank you for raising my awareness, once again.

  24. Kristi July 11, 2014 at 11:21 am #

    Thank you for the blog. I use to feel the same way. Why am I equated to parents of special needs children that abuse their children? There are numerous articles in papers about the abuse these children have, it is all too sad and heartbreakingly. God did give us these children. Let’s face it, these parents abuse “typical” children too. Then I realized it’s all in our choices we make and to overcome the evil force that causes these parents to abuse their child. God gave us free will. I love the responses from your readers. It does get harder and then we have to turn to others to help, advocates and attorneys when our immediate family isn’t available. No one said life was easy, when we make good choices it is manageable.

    Don’t be so hard on the Mom that buys all organic and has well behaved kids, I like to believe everything is relative and they are fighting some internal problem. That is the benefit of have a special needs kid, they teach us perspective in what really matters.

  25. Tiffany July 11, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

    Thank you so much for this article! I could not agree more in so many ways. After 5 years of raising a sweet boy with special needs, I think most of what people say is “from God” or about him, including all the challenges of children with special needs, is false. However I believe he does give us the faith, grace and love to confront every challenge and be the best parent we can be and the parent they deserve. That’s a blessing to me and hopefully an example of actually how God is involved in my situation. Thank you.

  26. Ashley Bourg July 31, 2014 at 9:34 am #

    This post is fabulous! It says everything I have wanted to say from the day MY Connor(we also have a Cooper & live in Louisiana) was diagnosed. I have only heard of Schizecephaly because my son was first diagnosed with Incomplete Lissencephaly, leading to MANY MANY hours of research. We have since, gotten a second opinion by a specialist who confirmed Polymicrogyria in stead as well as a genetic work up that showed a deletion on his 22 chromosome. It’s hard work raising a child with special needs, but guess what? It’s hard work raising a neurotypical child also. Let’s face it, Parenting is HARD!

  27. Monica Boggus October 20, 2014 at 3:24 am #

    Thank you for articulating what I couldn’t. …God bless you and your family.

  28. Nancy LeBlanc October 26, 2014 at 12:00 am #

    Just want to let Baton Rouge special needs moms that there is a Bible study run by Drs. Hollman and Golden for moms with kids with special needs on Tuesday nights at 7 or Wednesday afternoons at 1 at Istrouma Baptist Church for women of all Christian faiths. We are almost finished with our Fall study but will start a new one in January. You can message me on Facebook at Louisiana Special Parents or email [email protected] for more information.

    • Angela October 26, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

      Thank you, Nancy!

  29. Lisa Smith October 26, 2014 at 8:19 pm #

    Bravo. Cliches. I hate them. I say over and over that none of the ones I hear even ring true. You nailed it. This is something I wrote. Autism Speaks ran it. http://quirks-and-chaos.blogspot.com/2014/08/my-15-truths-of-parenting-special-kids.html

    From Lisa. Find me at Quirks and Chaos on Facebook.

  30. Danielle November 3, 2014 at 6:22 pm #

    Thank you, thank you! I am also a mother of a 7 year old with special needs. We are going through a rough patch right now and I don’t believe I came upon this article “by chance.” Our God is an awesome God. We are truly blessed, potholes and all!

  31. Lisa Smith December 8, 2014 at 4:27 pm #

    I’m Lisa from Quirks and Chaos on Facebook.

    I have two children with special needs and I get so tired of all the cliches I hear. I feel exactly the same way you do. God gives special children across the board and some of us step up to the challenge. Some do not. God does challenge us and it makes some of us trust Him more and rely on Him more. Great post. I wrote this one and my #11 was similar to some of your thoughts. http://quirks-and-chaos.blogspot.com/2014/08/my-15-truths-of-parenting-special-kids.html

  32. Sandra June 5, 2015 at 3:11 pm #

    This was beautifully written. Thank you.

  33. Amy M Widener August 17, 2015 at 11:07 pm #

    It’s like someone read my mind. I could have written this article myself. This article needed to be written and posted. Well done.

  34. Stacy October 26, 2015 at 4:28 pm #

    Hello, its good to know I’m not the only one that thinks this way. I have a special needs child also. He is my blessing, but he is quite the work. Many people have also said these things to me as well. I never would feel it true in my heart. What I feel true in my heart is I am blessed. I’m not perfect, but at the same time I question why pick me God? I believe these children are here to teach us something. I just have to find out what that might be.

  35. karen jackson April 18, 2017 at 8:40 am #

    My son 23 has been a victim of Chronic SCHIZENCEPHALY. I am excited to share this testimony as i have been sad and confused for the past 23 months of my son been a victim of SCHIZENCEPHALY. Anti-psychotic medicine they induce psychosis, never helped rather worsened the situation, Homeopathy medication is good but has a lot of limitation too. I looked for solution everywhere all to no avail until I contacted a Herbal Doctor whose medicine works perfectly for him, my son situation has greatly improved which is what I have always wanted. If you have related problem, don’t lose hope, contact him ([email protected])

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