How I Know I’m Meant to Work in the Special Needs Community

Sometimes I can’t believe how much my life has changed in just three and a half years. I’m on a completely different path than the one I started on. I look back at the girl I was at the beginning of college, and I just want to slip her a little paper that says “special needs” because the only regret I have is not getting involved with special needs work sooner.

My days can be hard and frustrating and exhausting, but I wouldn’t change them for anything in the entire world. I have angels who look at me like I created the air they breathe. Some days they look at me as if the way I just zipped up their jeans for them is a superhero power that only I possess. I spend my days doing these small tasks for people who will never have the words to thank me but always look at me like I’m incredible. 

I have this heart that is ten times as big as it was three and a half years ago because of the individuals who have allowed it to grow with their laughter and love. I live a life that is constantly full of gratitude and snuggles. My work makes me grateful every single day, not only for the lives I’m able to change but also for my own abilities. I’ve stopped taking my ability to dress myself, feed mysel, and speak for myself for granted. I know just how lucky I am to have these abilities that most people take for granted every single day. But more important, I know just how lucky I am to have these angels in my life.

I may never cure cancer or facilitate world peace, but I’ve changed the worlds of dozens of individuals. I’ve provided love to those who had never known it before. I’ve shared laughter and tears with children who other people are afraid of making eye contact with. I’ve made living easier for people who deserve so much more than they’re capable of understanding. I have superpowers that I don’t deserve. My life is astonishing simply because it’s intertwined with special needs.

No amount of judgmental looks or criticizing words can take away from the work I have the privilege of doing. I’m changing the world one special needs individual at a time, and I’m the lucky one.

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