Lessons I Learned Raising A Child With Special Needs “Stay Calm”

Lessons I Learned raising a Child with Special needs "Stay Calm" CharleneBullard.com FaithtoraiseNate.com Purposedrivencharlene.com
3 min read

I walked to the security gate and handed the man three boarding passes. He quickly scanned them with his eyes, then looked at the people standing in front of him. It was my mother, Nate, and me. We were returning from our vacation and were eager to make the journey back home.

“Okay.” He said, but wait a minute. I watched as he went to conference with his fellow TSA worker, before returning to explain that they would need to complete a security check on Nate.

My face immediately gave a question mark, to the TSA worker, as he proceeded to tell me that they needed to check Nate’s wheelchair. My mother and I looked down at my 9 year-old son, who was sitting comfortably, playing with his toy. Although Nate was mobile, his wheelchair/stroller, helped with long distances and unfamiliar places. It also helped when Nate became tired and could not walk. Yet, now he would need to be interrupted, so they could place his wheelchair through the security checkpoint.

Now I didn’t agree with this practice, and when I looked at my mother’s face, I could see the fumes, coming from her head reaching the ceiling. She was angry, as she mumbled “That doesn’t make any sense. Why do they need to check a wheelchair?”

I quickly, turned to her, and in a low and discreet voice, begging her to “Stay Calm”.

Unlike her, I knew the effects of someone “going off” on the TSA. In the past, I had seen a few news reports of passengers that became angry at them and it wasn’t a good scene. I didn’t want an incident where my “out of control” mother, who was angry at how her grandson was being treated by TSA, to hit the world of social media….going viral. I could just imagine….being plastered on every news station and having that dwell forever in the internet world! That scared me and was NOT something I wanted to subject us to.

So, I calmly took Nate out of his wheelchair/stroller, and allowed the man to scan it with his security wand. We stood on the side, watching in complete irritation, wanting it to quickly come to an end.

And over the years, as Nate and I have traveled, there have been many more things that I didn’t agree with. From my child having to get out of his wheelchair and to walk through the security checkpoint. To the moments where it beeped and he had to walk through it again. Also being told that I couldn’t go through with him, after I told the workers that he needed assistance. Lastly the times that Nate’s wheelchair was placed on the conveyer belt, to be scanned, while Nate jumped around, flapping and making noises.

As time has gone by, I have learned to take these situations and others in stride, not allowing them to disrupt our life. Just simply “Staying Calm.”


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