Throughout the years of raising my child, there were times that I encountered people who gave me a sad face, as they expressed their sorrow for me, but more for my son with special needs. They looked at Nate’s life, as if he was missing something since he is deaf, blind, and intellectually disabled. They felt bad for him as they shared that it was unfair that he was born “like that” and didn’t have a life. Then they share that they wish that Nate had the same opportunities as others, to experience the world, make decisions, prosper in a career, and possibly have a family of his own. I smiled at such a comment, before I explain that their is no need to feel sorry for Nate. Then I remind them, that far from what they can see, my son has a “life”.
Nate’s life includes family that loves and adores him. Nate has an active daily schedule, which included school and now a day program and community activities. He can make his own decisions, such as what he wants to eat, when he wants to sleep, and if he wants to do a task or not, (although that can be a problem at times). In Nate’s short life he has done a number of things, such as going on vacations, basking in the hot southern sun and weather of the Carolinas, Florida, and a Caribbean island, where he sat on the beach kicking the sand. He has been on walks in parks, trips to the zoo, celebrated his birthday at restaurants, met Disney characters in Orlando, and much more.
So why do others assume that since, children with special needs have some limitations, that means that they don’t have a life? They do have a life, and although their life may not look like yours or mine, it is a life, that is specially made and adapted for them and their special needs.