I think one of the hardest things to get your head around when you have a child with special needs is the fact that dreams and the future look different than expected.  I remember a doctor said me when Peter was really small, “you need to get okay with all of this because one day he will need your confidence in who he is to became all that he can be”.

Becoming okay is easier at times more than others.  I worked for many years at becoming okay and I can say I am most of the time.  At 11 years old now Peter’s questions to me strike a cord and are sometimes difficult to answer.  The other day he said, “everyone who walks around me doesn’t seem to care about walking and all I want to do is walk.”  He asked me why I wasn’t in the olympics and I told him because I did not have a sport that I did that could compete with everyone in the world.  He said, “why haven’t you tried, I mean you can walk and all.”  In his mind walking gives no limitations.  Sometimes this is a hard thought to explain because even though it is HIS largest limitation we know it really doesn’t seem to give us walkers limitless abilities or does it....  He reminds me a lot that we walk around without thinking about how fortunate it is to do such a thing.  He told his teacher the other day that he is confused why God won’t just "fix him".

I say all of this to say teaching our kids to look for the things they CAN do is a difficult job sometimes.  It doesn’t seem to matter if you have a kid with special needs or just a teenager.  Most of the time Peter is happy and joyful and full of hope but there are those low times where as a parent you have to be ready for the questions of doubt.   This is when you, as a parent, have to have made amends with the disability in order to be able to answer some of those questions. Accepting the disability as just part of his life is vital for his own self-understanding.  That’s not such a small thing....