The first time we heard someone refer to my son as having special needs, it hit us like a train. I didn’t see it at first, although I was jumping through all kinds of hoops to keep him content. I was “on” all the time. I parented him and took care of his needs. He was my first child, and I didn’t realize that certain things were not typical. He met all his milestones early or on time. His language concerned me a bit, but then he put those 2 words together just in time for the check-up, so I wasn’t worried.
He was very sensitive to noises, but the pediatrician told me he would grow out of it. Lots of kids and people don’t like loud noises. In fact, I hated loud noises as a kid, too. My son was also a very picky eater, but once again, I thought of a lot of kids who were picky eaters. At times, he had so much energy, it was hard to calm him down.
I had a few people talk to me about occupational therapy and how much their child liked it and benefited from it. I would think to myself, “Are they suggesting we need this, or am I reading too much into what they are saying?” I would also hear how I never took a break. I never got to sit down. I thought, “Of course not. Parenting is hard, especially when you want to be a good parent. All kids keep their parent’s busy, right?”