The Cerebral in Cerebral Palsy
One thing I always marveled at was the amount of creativity that is needed to be a mom of someone with special needs. My son was born without breathing for ten minutes and had seizures at birth. He was deemed severely involved with cerebral palsy.(He was non-ambulatory, non-verbal and later, fed by g-tube.) That was my first day of "the rest of my life" of creating for and opening doors of opportunity for the most amazing young man I know.
The challenges I faced were not defined for me. Nobody knew what to tell me to do, because there weren't others like him around here. I seemed to be alone so it became mine to mold and develop! What an exciting challenge- to be able to learn about so much within one person and having that person let you do it! This is the closeness bond that mothers with special needs get so excited about .It is something that very few other parents get to share with you so your friends become real , treasured, close and deep! Time to use the cerebrum to develop a cerebrum!
Every Mother's Day is ours to share with a noontime tea, wherever we are, because we are all too busy to get together and most of us live very far apart. Our souls unite and our hearts celebrate what we have- a best-kept secret! Sipping that tea and thinking about moms everywhere does a soul so much good! And it takes less time than therapy sessions!!! We have each other to share creative solutions to mutual problems or we all brainstorm for one!
Since our son's birth, we have become closer as a family. The younger three were always there to experience the challenges our oldest faced and he brought out a side of us, ( his parents,) that we may never have known, and our other children would have never seen. These three are special in their own rights as people who "get it"- they have very developed empathy and a sense of purpose. Right and wrong are crystal clear to them. They know life has rough spots and now know how to cope with problems well. They are well- grounded.
We get compliments on them regularly but each of them will tell you they did not get the attention that their brother did, and they missed it! They support his needs well.
We have had to use our abilities to see how to live both his life and ours simultaneously- a rare view of life! He has helped us to see that our gifts were given to us as strength for his needs. I have always been very healthy and fit. He needs help with his physical needs. Many parents with special needs children will notice that their natural strengths are where their special needs children are particularly weak. This is the gift many struggle to see. It feels like a curse- it is so inconceivable that this child cannot do what you so much want the family as a whole to do. But your views as to what a family should be need tweaking- and this child just tweaked this whole family.
We now have family friends that would never have given us the time of day otherwise had our son not been in the family. He brings out a love in people- even strangers- that I cannot describe! It is not so much a pity but a deep respect for what he does do with what he has as strengths. He works harder at communicating than anybody I have ever seen-he sweats before the sentence is finished. He won't stop spelling on his tray until you understand what he wants you to know. And patience!!! I never learned such a hard lesson in all my life. He has so much and I am the one who had none. I guess he was the one who "gave" to me this time!
Today, he is living with two others, and happily so, as he has so much to express about how he wants to live. We are proud of who he is and who he has become. His housemates are learning from him, too!