As a retired special education teacher, I have watched the up’s and down’s of a parent coming to terms with their child’s diagnosis of autism, ADHD, behavior disorders and mental retardation just to name a few. I have witnessed the anger and frustration toward God asking, “Why my child God? I never did drugs or alcohol while pregnant. I was careful with my diet. Why did this happen to me?” This is not the time to tell a parent that it’s, “God’s will” or that, “God has a reason”. What I prefer to do in such cases is to introduce them to the poem, “Welcome To Holland” By Emily Perl Kingsley. (http://dsnetworkaz.org/holland ). Since I retired from the school district, I spend time advocating for parents and their child reach their full potential in the public school system as well as at home and their community.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” ~Jeremiah 1:5
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb” ~Psalm 139:13
God does not make mistakes. I have never been able to answer the parent’s question, “Why?” but I love to share with parents what wonderful gifts I see in their child. Working with these children, I have discovered that I learn as much from them as I hope they learn from me. God has blessed me with a special gift of being able to work with His children. As a teacher, the job can be stressful at times, but patience and continuity are essential. I see the potential and celebrate their gifts that God gave them as well. While many children with autism share similar characteristics of autism, they are still unique individuals with their own special skills. They are God’s sons and daughters. Look beyond the disability and see their distinctive ABILITIES!
As for the parents of these wonderful children, God never gives us more than we can bear (even though we all question just how strong He thinks we are) God has chosen you because you have a gift to raise this child with love, patience and understanding. There will be tough days, but the successes and milestones your child reaches, no matter how small it seems, is cause for celebration. God bless you.