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Special Needs Parenting: My Christmas Wish List

Jodi Shenal by Jodi Shenal Additional Needs

Jodi Shenal

Jodi Shenal

I'm a stay-at-home mom with two amazing children. My son is on the Autism spectrum and my daughter has a rare genetic disorder and multiple disabil...

I would strive to be good so that my Christmas wishes would come true.

Now, being a mother myself, I appreciate how hard my parents worked to ensure that we always had a wonderful Christmas.

As a mother of children with special needs, I’ve grown to realize what is truly priceless and my wish list no longer includes frivolous material items.

The things I wish for every day can’t be delivered by a jolly, bearded man on a sleigh.

The gifts that I seek can’t be wrapped in pretty paper or adorned with shiny ribbon.   The presents that I long for won’t fit neatly under our Christmas tree.

They are not commodities or goodies at all, and they require more than a simple wish.

Some of them require loads of diligent work, and others, nothing short of a prayer and a miracle. If I could create a Christmas Wish List to be magically fulfilled, it would look something like this.

1.  I wish that my daughter’s Epilepsy could be cured and that her seizures would become a distant memory.

2.  I wish that the things we take for granted (walking, communicating, eating, etc.) didn’t have to be so challenging for her, and I wish that I could make accomplishing them easier for her.

3.  I wish that I could promise her that there will be no surgeries or scary medical procedures next year.

4.  I wish that I didn’t have to give her daily medications or have to worry about the damage they may cause her solitary kidney.

5.  I wish I could express to her how truly amazing she is and how deeply she is loved.

6.  I wish that my son could see how incredible he is and that Autism doesn’t define him.

7.  I wish that I could make all of his anxieties disappear, and give him a great sense of self-confidence.

8.  I wish that making friends came easily and that kids only showed kindness to one another.

9.  I wish for him to understand his magnificent talents and how intensely proud he makes me each day.

10.  I wish for a world filled with compassion; that everyone would love, help and respect each other, no matter our limitations or disabilities.

I am greatly blessed and thankful for my children; the true gifts in my life.

My family is all that I need gathered around the tree to have a Merry Christmas.

Still, the list of things that I most wish for will always remain, and I’ll always long for them, in case Santa is listening.


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