How my Special Child Changed me For the Better

Jeana Crouse by Jeana Crouse Additional Needs

Jeana Crouse

Jeana Crouse

I am passionate about helping awaken our strengths as special needs parents and caregivers along this journey. I cherish the opportunity to help ot...

How my Special Child Changed me For the Better

What a shocking revelation it is when we first find out we have this special child and realize life is going different than what we ever thought of or planned. The thoughts that go through most of our minds can be upsetting, to say the least. I know I wondered how I was going to take proper care of my daughter. I mourned that she would never have a “normal” life, get married, have children etc...

I hope this reaches those of you just starting out because they actually do have a “normal” life. What is normal anyway? They have a life that is filled with joy, love, and sweetness that other people don’t give out so freely. Yes, they have their challenges, we all do. Yes, their lives are more difficult than most.

It can be a lot of effort for them to get going every day.

The first time I saw my daughter give someone else the feeling of being loved and cared for is one I will never forget. It was when she was only 4 years old. We were at the grocery store and there was a man in a wheelchair waiting at the deli in front of us. Emma walked over to him and put her hand on his shoulder. They looked at each other, eyes connecting without any words. I saw tears in his eyes. It brought me to tears and made me realize the good Lord has gifted her with her “normal” life and a purpose.

Another amazing thing to me is our special needs community goes and does things as difficult as it can be for them. They get up and they excitedly go to school, adult programs, and some even go to work. The difference I see in them is that they love to go and do these things.

They look forward to it.

We all have a purpose on this earth. My daughter’s purpose has been many things, but more than any of them, she gives others love. She has changed me in such positive ways that I would never have gained without her.

I have gained so much confidence and the ability to speak up for not only her but myself. At first, I found I was able to speak up for her without batting an eye. I remember, my mother said to me “You speak up for Emma, why not for yourself?”

That was a turning point for me.

I have gained the ability to maintain boundaries when needed. Not only for my daughter but for myself as well. The strength I have gained within myself is something I had no idea I had within me. I have gained compassion and empathy for others. We never know what someone is going through. Emma is a true gift.


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