Part of the reason that I struggled so much with the designation of special needs mama was the consciousness that his needs weren’t extreme.
I didn’t have to feed him through a tube.
I didn’t have to call the police because he was violent.
I didn’t need to guess at his needs because he was completely non-verbal.
I gnawed on all of that for a while and concluded that our lives were on a spectrum. The mild end of the spectrum didn’t mean we weren’t on it.
Edmund’s needs are pervasive, but as we learn more, they are fairly easily managed. We’re learning ways to redirect behaviors that can be harmful to people and his environment. We’re identifying triggers so that we can desensitize him to them as much as possible. We’re learning interventions to them for the process. We’re seeking help early for things that seem minor so they dont fester and become major. This might make us seem a little overbearing to folks that don’t see our spectrum; we’re okay with that.
Most importantly, we’re accepting that he will probably be quirky forever, but he can be successful and independent. Because we are on the mild end of the spectrum. Hats off to all the caregivers both at the mild end and further along the spectrum – I see you.