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I'm Not Special Because I Have A Child With a Disability

Frequently as a parent of a child with a disability, I hear people say, “You must be a special person because of your child with ‘special needs.'” Or, “There is no way I could do what you do,” referring to taking care of my child.

I’m just a mom.

I’m not a special person because my son has autism. My son’s autism or any of his other issues don’t make me special. It doesn’t grant me superhuman powers of patience or increase my tolerance for overwhelming situations. I was not magically gifted with knowing how to advocate educationally and medically for my son.

I am not special.

I am just a mom who loves her son like you love yours. I have the same general weaknesses and strengths as any other person. If you had a child with disabilities, you would find that you would be doing the same things I am. Because you love your child, and because you really have no other choice.

The person who is special is my son. Children without disabilities can have a fun and carefree childhood. Children like my son spend their days working on things that we take for granted. Instead of spending his afternoons after school playing, his afternoons for years have been filled with therapy. Evenings are filled with medical procedures, and he needs an early bedtime due to his sleeping issues.

So here’s to all the fighters out there like my son, who work hard to get through a day in a world that does not always understand them.

A version of this story originally appeared on An Ordinary Mom.

Getty image by Ohnodesign