Do you know how challenging and difficult it is to raise a child with special needs? I bet most of you have no idea how difficult and challenging it is to be a mother to a special child, because not everyone understand how it is like to be in my shoes.
My son have ADHD (mine with a hint of autism spectrum and Asperger as well, but I’m too lazy to explain it right now). To put it in layman’s term, ADHD is a problem with inattentiveness, over-activity, impulsiveness, lack of social skills or a combination of all these. Children diagnosed with ADHD are different. Their cognitive development and social skills are usually at a slower pace than your average children who doesn’t have ADHD and whatnot.
Unlike most parents out there who are worried on how well and how competitive their children is doing in kindergarten or school, my concerns are different. I cannot be overly ambitious and compare my son’s milestone with other children his age because he is different, and I cannot expect him to be like other children when he is clearly not. God did not designed him that way.
I do get wistful at times when I see children his age can do more than him, but I understood that I cannot have the same expectations on him. He is different in many ways… from social and interacting skills to his daily diet have to be different.
Many noticed how ‘different’ my son is, and more often than not, people do not understand why he is like that. They do not understand why he doesn’t have eye contact with people when they speak to him. They do not understand why he will not make any effort to communicate with people unless he’s really familiar with them. They do not understand why he cannot sit still and his concentration is horrible.
People…especially those who are ignorant and do not bother to listen to my explanation often condemned me as a bad mother who failed to teach my son to behave. I am also labeled as a cruel mum for being strict in every aspect of my parenting with him. (because being strict is the only way for me to get him to do things!)
I always have these words hurled at me:
“Why doesn’t he eat rice?”
“Why can’t he sit still?”
“Why is he not talking to us? Doesn’t he know how to talk? Didn’t you teach him how to talk?”
“Why is he behaving like a retard? Why he gets upset so easily?”
“Why is he throwing tantrum without reason?”
And most irritating questions of all is this one:
“Why you stopped him from taking sweets? Why you refused to allow him to take sweetened food or drinks? Children should take more sweets. Or else they won’t grow up! That is why your son so skinny like a stick! You don’t feed him well enough!”
Look! It’s not that I do not feed him enough that he doesn’t grow sideways like those kids who resembles a tub or lard more than normal children. I do feed him. But his diet is different. Medically speaking, sweet things like candies and chocolates triggers hyperactivity in him. I don’t allow him to take them too much is because of health concerns. It is hazardous to him.Ask any doctors and they will tell you the same thing.
It is not that I am cruel that I deprived him of all those sweet things. It may look cruel, but I am actually being kind to him for it is bad for his health and development.
But what do these people know? They are not his mother. They are not living with him. They don’t raise him and they have no idea how it’s like to walk in my shoes and I doubt they will understand until they had to deal with children with special need 24/7 themselves. They had no idea how horrible the side effect of excessive sugar on my son’s body. They haven’t seen him being extremely hyper and had zero concentration whenever he took too much sugar.
I know better because I am his mother and I know what’s best for him. Mothers always knows best. It doesn’t matter if they are mothers with normal children or children with special needs.
Cleffairy: I shall raise my son as I saw fit any everyone else who don’t bother to understand his condition should butt out of it!