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What I Want You to Know About My Children With Special Needs

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When I look at all the paperwork from doctors and therapists (I try and keep track but somehow never really get it under control), I can see it’s a lot.

When we have a tough day and both boys are exhibiting the more difficult signs and symptoms of their diagnoses, I know it’s a lot.

All the diagnoses we deal with every day can get a little confusing and overwhelming. 

For the record, my oldest son is 13 years old. He is on the autism spectrum, has an anxiety disorder diagnosis and two autoimmune diagnosis — Sjogrens syndrome and lupus.

My youngest is 10. He is profoundly dyslexic, has a processing delay and anxiety disorder and is also in the process of being further evaluated for neurological and/or mood disorders.

Yes, it’s a lot to keep track of. But it is no where near enough information about these two.

I also want you to know they’re so freaking smart and funny.

I want you to know my oldest says he loves me now, sometimes, and means it. I wasn’t sure that was possible a few years ago.

I want you to know no one snuggles better than my youngest, and he just read me an entire chapter of a book. A year ago he struggled to read the word “the.”

They both love their friends and love seeing them.

I want you to know they are young men — they are people first.

I want you to know they are loved more than I ever thought possible by a mom who messes up more than I ever thought possible. I want you to know that by the grace of God, she keeps it together enough to keep going, to make progress, to live life.

I want you to know my sons see the looks, the disapproval, the judgment. They are old enough now to perceive it, and it hurts.

I want you to know the basics we take for grated are difficult feats for these kids. Things like showering, sleeping, eating and socializing — they all require more effort than seems fair.

I want you to know nothing stops my boys. Not physical pain. Not emotional torment. Not the darkness of depression nor the accusation of anxiety. Not overwhelming fatigue or irrational fears.

They are the bravest two people I have ever met, with or without diagnoses.

I just wanted you to know.

Follow this journey on Not the Former Things. 

Originally published: August 19, 2016
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