Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Encouragement . . .

Tonight I had my support group for special needs children. It is nice to go and talk about all the issues we have with our special needs child without the person thinking you are totally nuts. I enjoy listening to others stories, and also feeling a kinship with those moms who go through similar trials. Not all of our children are the same, many have autism spectrum disorders, some are toddlers, some our adolescents, but all of us live daily with special situations in each of our children's lives.

There is an inspirational story about visiting Holland that floats around from time to time. You can read the text here. It talks about how we prepare for a trip to Italy all your life and you have all these perceptions and expectations about what it's like. You think that's what it's going to be like because that's what it is like for everyone else. You get on a plane for Italy, and then BOOM, you end up in Holland (you have a child with special needs). Not that Holland is a bad place, but it's not what you bargained for. You wanted to go to Italy like everyone else. Once you start learning the language and seeing the sites you decide Holland is beautiful. It's not Italy, but it's just as good.

I try to be positive about the things I go through with a child with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. I understand that he will never be "typical" because his birth mom was selfish. I understand he is impulsive and will most likely always battle that. I know he will have some developmental delays, due to many other factors as well. I get that his brain is damaged. I just want him to be HAPPY. I try to remember that we have gone through many low valleys, lower than where we are now. I try to be patient with pharmaceuticals and doctors. I try to remember that there are those that are going through so much more.

I am afraid for our future. I know that a fellow blogger, Claudia, is dealing with teenage FAS issues and hope that our future holds something different. I don't know what to expect. I pray daily that Dustin will have a wonderful and fruitful life. He deserves more than what he has been dealt. He has gone through so much in his short life. My prayers go out to her family as they walk this path.

It is bedtime in our house. As I am typing this, Dustin has been out of his room 12 times. How do I know? We have one of those window alarms hooked to the outside of his door molding. When it is time for bedtime, we shut the door, turn on the alarm and when he opens the door I hear a siren. That is what it like with a child with FAS. You must be on your toes at all times. Dustin cannot leave his TV on or he will be awake all night. To fix this, we cut the cord to his TV until it was only about 3 inches long. We attached a new plug on the end. In order for him to watch TV we must give him an extension cord. When it's bedtime, or when he's grounded he has to give me the cord. You have to be creative.

I will sleep tonight thinking about how beautiful Holland can be.

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