Special Needs: A Description, Not A Conclusion…

Written by Scott

Topics: Archives, Faith, Family

secret

I have a secret to share.

A handful of people know, but most would never guess…this trip into ‘special needs’ isn’t our first rodeo.

You see, when Sam was 2, he was delayed in speech. We didn’t initially think much of it, because as a boy, speech is often developed later than in girls. He had a vocabulary of a dozen words or so, so it wasn’t like it he non-verbal.

But then it all dropped off. And he’d get so frustrated because he couldn’t communicate, and we couldn’t understand what he was trying to say…the frustration would grow into anger, and anger into the hitting and kicking and biting. We knew pretty quickly there was a problem.

Medical test after medical test revealed nothing. The doctors were baffled. He was entered into a special needs preschool at 3. And after a year and a half of testing, of poking and prodding…still no answers, and not a lot in the way of progress in school (though not for a lack of trying…he had great teachers).

We didn’t just accept the label of ‘special needs’. It may have described him at that moment, but we were looking past it, and seeing our son. So after that school year, we started an elimination diet, beginning with dairy, despite medical tests showing no allergy…because his sister had some sensitivity early on. Lo and behold, within a few days we noticed changes in some physical symptoms, and within a few weeks, most were gone. And he was speaking, and by the end of summer, speaking not just words, but paragraphs. When he returned to preschool that fall, his teachers could not believe the changes.

We could have just accepted the medical conclusions (seemingly leaning toward non-verbal autism) and the ‘special needs’ label. But we didn’t see it as a conclusion, just a description.

That’s not to say that Evanna won’t have some clear needs–she likely will. But the label doesn’t need to confine or define her.  We’ll be looking past it to our beautiful baby girl.

 


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