Know that your child has a purpose; he or she is not “damaged goods.” Rather, he has a vulnerability and an innocence that the world desperately lacks. Your child with special needs is here to teach you and to teach the world. The lesson you must learn is your own but the world’s lesson is about compassion, accountability and love. When we take the time to reflect on the things that make your child unique we can begin to see life differently. Personally, I was always in a hurry; playing a game of “beat the clock.” Our son was incessantly slow and meticulous. He had to thoroughly examine every aspect of nature while we would walk. He loved the sounds of his shoes on the pavement, the smell, of freshly cut grass and the feel of different sticks, stones, and random pieces of litter! I participated in walks more out of a sense of duty than any heartfelt desire to enjoy nature. The reality of raising two children, being pregnant with a third and working fulltime really squashed the whole notion of having fun, for fun’s sake.
My transformation happened slowly, almost imperceptibly. In time, I was able to watch our little son with new eyes. I observed how his senses were finely tuned (sometimes too finely tuned) and how he drank every aspect of the environment that he was in. Sure enough, there were things that I had never taken the time to glance at, never mind, study in detail! Our walks became an opportunity for me to see the world through his eyes; to slow down and live life more deeply.
Become a conscientious observer of your child. Notice what he perceives and to what he pays attention. He just may lead you to something that you have never fully experienced! Or he may teach you to experience life differently!