Life can be funny. I once thought about working with or even fostering children with special needs.
As it turns out my own daughter is special needs. Ironically I have no idea what to do half the time with her. I just wing it. Sure we take her to different doctors and try different medicines and therapies but ultimately I have no clue what I'm doing. I just do what I think I should or what I'm told by whoever has the medical degree. A lot of it is guessing.
Today we went to the neurologist. We talked about other things we could be doing and basically we are doing everything we can at this point. I have applied for scholarships to special schools, she is in special classes and I have even changed my view on medicating kids. (Ok, maybe I haven't changed my view. I still don't like it but I do accept that sometimes you have to do it.)
So if we are doing all that there is to be done why do I feel like it's not enough?
I still have so many questions about B that haven't been answered. I still don't know what expectations of her are reasonable. I still don't know when she does things wrong if it's because of her disability or because she's a kid. I still don't know how best to discipline her in either case. I still want to smack the people that give her weird looks or roll their eyes are her or I because they don't understand why an 11 year old stops in the middle of the mall to break out into a dance. I still want to scream at the moms who think I am overbearing because I don't let her do more on her own because she is 11.
It took me a long time to just come out and say that she is special needs. It's still so weird to say it. But she is. It’s not that I am ashamed or embarrassed. I just didn't want people to treat her differently right off the bat because of a label. But at the same time if I don't give a disclaimer people just don't understand why on earth she does some of the things she does.
She has intellectual deficiencies and ADD and OCD and a few other things thrown in. I for a while like most of my family thought it was all something she would outgrow. Unfortunately unlike most of my family I have to accept that this is B. She will always have special needs and need more attention then other kids her age.
I still go over the pregnancy and small details trying to figure out what I did to make her like this. I still tell myself that I have her because, in spite of feeling like a failure sometimes, I am the exact type of person she needs in her life. Maybe I'm not supposed to be strong all the time. Maybe I'm supposed to sit up late at night and google treatments or programs, trying to get a handle on everything and crying when I can't.
But you know what is great about her? I try not to let her see me upset or crying but when she does, she comes over and hugs me. She asks if I want to talk about it. If I say no she asks if there is anything she can do to make me feel better. If I tell her nothing she still cuddles and gives me a hug and a kiss. It's when she does that that I know even if I have no clue what I am doing, I am definitely doing something right.