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Special Needs Induced Flexibility

I am fairly rigid when it comes to organization. This stems from a need to control. I know this, so this isn’t a new revelation for me.┬áMy organization skills help in just about every other area of my (our) family life. It impacts schedules, cleanliness, time, etc. etc. You get the idea.

This was all well and good until I had a kid or two that needed extra care. Extra care brought appointments for doctors and evaluations and therapy and extra trips to the pharmacy for medication and special diets and a certain level of energy even though the energy had already been zapped by late night breastfeeding and diaper changing. Extra care increased the paperwork, calls to insurance companies and to doctors to set appointments and deal with copays.

Life got complicated for someone (me) who likes organization (read: control).

Fast forward through two kids’ kidney transplants. Dialysis for one. Emotional fallout. Education deficits. All things that bring complication with them and complication factors that have laughed in the face of my need for organization and control. Laughed.

Now, 13 years into the special needs world, I find myself reexamining my flexibility. Is it enough? Take yesterday’s issues with our son…he’d come home with a detention slip (again) because of his behavior. His behavior this year isn’t as good as last years and well, we have no idea why. Is this grade harder? Puberty? Growing out of current mental health cocktail? A mixture of all of the above?

The way isn’t as important as the fact that this situation demands more flexibility from me. I think, “Haven’t I given in enough? Haven’t I changed enough to accomodate this life?”

Sadly, no, apparently not.

These new issues bring new plans and have set us in yet another direction to get the behavior under control (After all, you can’t go around flipping off the teacher, can you?). It’s required my husband and me to figure out a new tact to take. Again. We’ve come up with the current currency for him (electronics and working on a jeep with his dad) at the top of the list. But what if this doesn’t work? What if he continues to get detention slips and flipping people off?

Last night as I was sighing (ever so calmly and resigned), I looked at my husband and said, “We have to remember, he’s not normal and we’re trying to make him fit in a normal world.” When I said that it was the first time I’d voiced that fact aloud to anyone. And it made me incredibly sad because it’s heartbreakingly true.

There are always new ways to be flexible in the special needs world. And if I ever forget it, there’s a new situation to remind me.

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