I have had people ask me how did we do it? Meaning life with a special needs child.

I have had people look at me with sadness in their eyes and say they feel sorry for us, with all the work it takes to raise a special needs child.

I have had pity shown ( which for the record, I hate).

I have had relief shown.  They are almost saying “Phew” when they leave and can go back to their own neurotypical children.

I think most of us who have a special needs child can relate to the myriad of emotions others have shown to us.

From tough looks at the grocery store:  We got them when Elizabeth and her sensory processing disorder ( SPD) made the experience simply too much for her system and a screaming meltdown was the result.

To the irritation shown by others: Maybe because “I let her get away with THIS kind of behavior”

And on and on.

I have to tell you a phrase I use ALOT when it comes to Elizabeth.

We refer to her as a gift.

And we frequently say ” The gift of Elizabeth” when we talk about a perspective that we have because of life with her that maybe others do not. Or when she stops all of us to have us watch the sunset or when she steps over drama and hugs you.  Trust me, there are countless other examples.

Do I wish Elizabeth did not have her global dyspraxia and SPD?

To be honest, yes and only because SHE wouldn’t have to work so hard to be in the world each and everyday.  And because she wouldn’t have to carry around anxiety.  And because she could simply live in a world that only bends so far for her.

But I could never and would never wish her to be different because she is amazing and has taught and continues to teach us so much….she is a gift.  We all know just how amazing our special needs children are.

I was in a store the other day, one in which you pack your own groceries.  My oldest child, Emily was with me.  Upon entering the store, we could hear the screams of a young child.  The screams grew louder by the minute.  When we were in line, the young child was reaching for the mom, red faced, out of breath and frantic.  The mom was so stressed and was apologizing to everyone for her child’s screams but she could not calm him.

When she was done, she was attempting to pack up her groceries and the screams continued.

I mentioned Emily that I would help this mom pack, no one else in the store  offered…..the gift of Elizabeth.  I KNOW what she was feeling.

But it was Emily who went over first and helped this appreciative mom…..the gift of Elizabeth.  Emily’s heart has been touched by life with a special needs sister.

The Gift of Elizabeth.

We are all in this life together and to use the gifts we have to help and support each other is another amazing gift of our special children.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele Gianetti author of :

I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey

Emily’s Sister

Elizabeth Believes In Herself: The Special Journey Continues