Having a child with special needs affects the whole family.

Having a child with additional needs changes a family.  I think you become more insular as no one can truly understand how much your life has changed.  We are not the same people, same couple, same family as we were before our special boy, Hugh, was born.  Our priorities have changed.  Our needs have changed.  Hell, even our political views have changed.  It’s not all bad though.  Yes, I am beginning to feel isolated from even my closest friends, but in turn, we have grown stronger as a couple, talk more openly and rely on each other more.



My overriding concern has always been though, the effect having a brother with special needs will have on my eldest son, Sean.  He is nearly three and I worry almost as much about his future as I do about his younger brother’s. Will he get bullied for having a brother that is so ‘different’?  Will he feel neglected because his brother demands so much care and attention?  Will he be embarrassed by a brother that can’t walk or talk?  Will he be jealous…

Loving Equally Does Not Meaning Loving The Same


I love both my sons dearly and equally. 

As I tuck in little H I look at his beautiful face and am filled with such overwhelming love. I caress his cheek and run my hand over his face-the on body sign for good night. I do a mental run though of the appointments and therapies the next day will bring. I check he is positioned correctly, lying symmetrically in the bed. I attach the sats probe to his toes, switch on the monitor and check his oxygen levels and heart rate. I check the angle he is sleeping at is sufficient, adjusting the gradient if his reflux is particularly bad or he is having problems breathing. And I kiss him goodnight. 

Then I go to Cheeky's room. He sleeps soundly, curled up in a ball, often the wrong way round in the bed. I lie my head next to his and listen to him breathe. Calm. Peaceful. He is nearly 4. He loves Ben 10, Disney Cars and Spiderman. He is looking forward to going to school in September. Life is straightforward. Simple. 

I lie with my head next to his, listening to the calming rhythm of his breathing. In and out. In and out. I take in the smell of his freshly washed hair and feel my heart settle, my mind still. Some nights I don't want to leave. This haven. This safe space. This simplicity. I long for the simplicity. 

I kiss him goodnight and return to my room. H's sats monitor flashes in the dim light. I check the figures again before getting into bed. 

I love both my sons wholeheartedly. 

And equally. 

And differently.

Comments

  1. The different feelings we have for our disabled & non-disabled children are complicated aren't they? - but, as you say, we love them equally. Thanks for highlighting such a valid issue. They sound like very lucky boys to have a mum like you.

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