special needs

‘Retarded robot!’ I was pushed down a flight of stairs. Living with autism is HARD in the real world.’: Autistic woman overcomes bullying, ‘we can do anything we want, we just try 10x harder’

“Living with autism is like living in 2 different worlds. In the ‘disability world,’ people don’t judge you. You feel safe. In the ‘real world,’ all comfort is lost. I wasn’t invited to sleepovers or birthday parties. No one wanted to sit with me at lunch. I’ve had pencils, food, rubber bands thrown at me. But we are people, too. Just like everybody else. And we can do anything we set our mind to.”

‘He was so nervous. From the darkness of the hallway comes a little curly haired boy, weary of all these people.’: Couple adopts twin survivors of shaken baby syndrome, loses son just 2 years shy of being in his ‘forever home’

“We heard about twin boys with Shaken Baby Syndrome. It was a super stormy morning, we ended up having to pull off the interstate. I was dying to get to them. Everyone held back tears as long as we could. Malakai was scared. He had no idea who we were. He’d hardly look at my husband. He passed away less than 6 hours after saying goodbye to his siblings. I still would have driven to a teeny tiny town in the pouring rain to pick he and his twin up to bring them to their forever home.”

‘We need to talk. Your baby’s head is BIG. His fingers look like a starfish.’ WHAT? He passed the Kleenex. I lost it.’: Mom births son with Dwarfism,  ‘he was made special on purpose’

“I thought he was joking. ‘Ohhhhh, I was hoping to walk in and see that you two were just very short. Have you ever seen the little people shows on TV?’ What the heck? He was convinced our son was a dwarf. He double checked measurements. He was actually serious! ‘What will our friends think?!’ I couldn’t breathe.”

‘Your baby is breathing 100 times per minute and still not getting oxygen.’ I felt so angry. I wanted answers.’: Mom ‘crushed’ by Childhood Alzheimer’s diagnosis, ‘we spoil her every day’

“I was at work, six months pregnant, when I saw the doctor’s office was calling. I naively answered. I shouldn’t have. ‘The older she gets, the more her body and mind will fade away.’ I didn’t want to call my husband. I wanted to crawl in bed and never come out. We spend each day wondering, ‘Will today be her last? Will she recognize me tomorrow?’ Our sweet, perfect, little girl was dying.”

‘If they have a disability, they shouldn’t be trick or treating anyway!’ I want to admit something.’: Adult woman with autism urges what is ‘lacking’ on Halloween is ‘acceptance’

“I’m seeing so many posts in groups saying, ‘My kid isn’t autistic, but we will carry the blue bucket too, so people won’t be rude to my child.’ And I want to admit something. My first initial reaction was: ‘Ok, so now people are taking an autism thing and making it about their non-autistic kid. WRONG.”

‘My family said, ‘I told you so.’ Why didn’t I notice it? I wanted to pretend it never happened.’: Mom first denies son’s autism diagnosis, now advocates for ‘acceptance, inclusion’

“We vacuum when he’s not home, use the blender in the garage and I can’t blow dry my hair unless he’s asleep. Once he sees the appliance, it’s an instant tantrum. Truth be told, I’m scared. Scared he’ll be bullied for being different. I’m so, so, terrified of that. ‘Is he going to live a ‘normal’ life? Will he get married, have kids?’ I still feel broken at times.”

‘I’m single, and I haven’t had sex with anyone, but I’m pregnant.’ After the shock, they were happy.’: Single-by-choice mom births son with Down syndrome, ‘I thought I chose Matthew, but he chose me’

“‘You can be a Mom. You don’t need a husband.’ I couldn’t ignore how her words resonated with the deepest part of my heart. ‘Can I really do this?’ I asked the nurse, ‘is everything okay?’ She shook her head and said, ‘no.’ I was disoriented. ‘What are you saying?’ This pulled a strength out of me I never knew I had.”

‘You will never become anything,’ my doctor said. I was going stone-cold deaf. ‘What now?’: Woman loses hearing to infection, vows ‘deafness will not define me’

“As a young girl, there were signs. I literally danced to my own beat, mispronounced words. I spent years humiliated, called to stand up in front of classmates and speak the language I couldn’t hear. On one test in particular, I completely bombed the oral exam, tears streaming down. ‘I thought you didn’t want to be labeled as different,’ my teacher said. That was the final straw.”

‘All babies born premature are floppy, aren’t they? We never noticed looking at our beautiful baby boy.’: After first child is ‘born sleeping,’ mom has son with Down syndrome, he’s the ‘life of the party’

“We were at a party. A little boy came up to me. ‘Why isn’t Riley talking to me? I’m asking him questions and he won’t answer me.’ Our son has Down syndrome. After learning Riley will be going to mainstream school, one parent asked, ‘How will he be able to get along with other children?’ It was like BANG. He is his own character, the same as every child.”

‘My daughter Penny is not a ‘mistake.’ She is perfection.’: Down syndrome mom explains the difference between ‘inclusion’ and helping special needs individuals ‘belong’

“People often feel awkward asking questions about my daughter. Penny gets sidelined from activities and events because they don’t know how to welcome her. The message of inclusion is, ‘We want you here with us.’ But belonging emerges from a deep desire to not just include the ‘other,’ but to love and be loved.”

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