Voice in the absence of Choice

Micah Pederson by Micah Pederson Additional Needs

Micah Pederson

Micah Pederson

I am a mom to two children biologically and many children through foster care. My husband and I have been married three years. Our foster home is a...

Recently, my son and I were at a doctor’s appointment during which a couple surgeries were discussed and scheduled for my son.

Of course, surgeries are never a fun or preferred event for any child.

As the surgeon discussed what would take place during the surgeries and then had me sign consent, my son became withdrawn and angry with me.

He heard the surgeon describing surgeries that will be painful.

Then my boy heard me—his mama—say that I agree and we should go ahead and schedule these scary procedures.

My son voiced his disapproval using his communication device.

He told me to leave him alone. He told me he didn’t like this.

He refused to look at me and repeatedly asked for his daddy.

Throughout our entire discussion, the surgeon and I included my son the best we could in the explanations and questions.

However, when it came down to it, my son would have said no to surgeries that as his mother, I had to say yes to.

When the surgeon left the room, I turned to my son: “I’m sorry buddy. I know this isn’t something you want to go through. This has to happen though, and I believe it will be better in the long-run. I heard you disagreeing and I’m sorry you had to lose your voice for this particular decision.”

As soon as I said the last sentence, I caught myself.

My son had not lost his voice. Not a single ounce of it.

Throughout the discussion, my son was included.

We heard his disapproval. We could empathize with his frustration and anxiety.

His anger toward me was heard throughout his communication loud and clear.

My son has every right to feel and express each one of these emotions and thoughts.

It made me so very thankful for the device my son has and the hard work we have put in to make sure his voice (which he has always had, device or not) has a way to be heard by all.

Even though my son was not given a choice about surgery, his voice remained and was still heard and valued.

In all of our lives, there will always be times where having opinions and the ability to voice them cannot change an outcome.

There are often times that we as humans have to swallow hard, grit our teeth, and press on into situations we wouldn’t prefer.

That’s where bravery is found. It’s simply part of life.

One of the most beautiful things about being human is that everyone of us still has a voice.

The ability to share anger, disagreement, fear, frustration—all those things—is an absolute right that we are all entitled to.

It really is a beautiful thing.

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