Warning: This is a mommy post. Just thought you should know.
Recently, I've read, heard, and/or dealt with a couple of things that have raised an issue for me. My son has special needs. It's not what he is, it's just one of his aspects. But if you were to say to me, "Oh, he's special needs," I'm not going to bitch you out. In fact, most of the time I won't even notice that little slip because I still do it myself. I'm trying not to, because in my mind it makes him a bit easier to live with if we're living with a little boy who has special needs rather than living with special needs connected to a penis.
It's not a personal affront to me if you use the word "is" not "has."
It is a personal affront if you decide you know how to "fix" him. Trust me, he's not broken! Yes, there are times I wish for a miracle. Yes, there are times I hope to wake up in the morning and find this has all been a nightmare. Yes, there are times when my husband holds me while I sob because it's just too hard.
Guess what? My friends who have typical children do the same thing. Not as often maybe, but it still happens.
Now, I wish I could say what labels fit my son. Not to describe him, but rather so other parents dealing with special needs can say BINGO! There's another member of our clan. Because it's kind of like a special club in a strange way. We do need support, and sometimes, the type of support we need can only come from other parents of children with special needs. So, the list of labels that have been heaped on my son are as follows: PDD-NOS, ADHD, ODD, Asberger's, Anxiety Disorder. Also on the suspected but unconfirmed list is bi-polar disorder.
Of course, every single doctor, therapist, teacher, and random "expert" on the street disagrees with one or more of those labels. "No, he talks to people, so he can't be Asbergers." "He sleeps at night, so that rules out ADHD and Anxiety." "PDD-NOS? No, I don't see that." Actually, the only label that's never been questioned is the ODD. But he exhibits traits from all of the above and others that no one can explain.
My son has Ianism. It's not an affliction (usually), it's not a disorder, it's just the way he is.
Do I wish he were different? Yeah, quite often. I wish I could have a whole conversation with him. I wish I could understand his perspective. I wish we could go for a random outing and not have to map out where exactly we're going, how long we'll be out, when and where food will be available, what food will be available, who's coming with, where the bathrooms are, etc. I wish I knew that when he grows up, he'll be able to have a job, a home, a family of his own. I wish I knew, with certainty, that he will be ok.
But he doesn't need to be fixed.
My son is not broken.