Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Normal vs. Special Needs Fussing

She sits there watching him, willing and telling him to "use his hands" to get a toy. They lay at his side. Sometimes his arms jerkingly raise towards the item and his hands grasp at air only to fall again back to his sides. And then he screams and fusses.

Or he is chewing/sucking (not quite sure which) on his teether which is built like a pacifier. The only teether they can use for him since he is not able to grasp and hold something to his mouth like a regular teether. It falls out. Upon noticing (noticing is good, right?), he wildly swings his head back and forth, screaming.

Or he is on the floor, trapped there by the sheer weight of his over-sized noggin. Unable to lift his head off the floor, he screams and struggles with great effort sometimes to change positions. And if by chance he makes it onto his stomach, he's stuck. Glued in one position until someone rescues him.

Her ears have been bleeding for the last few days from the sound of the baby's (20 months old now) fussing/crying. It can be incessant. Never-ending. Grating. And she sits and wonders if this is "normal" fussing or "special needs" fussing. Because if it is "normal" (which at 20 months it could be), then she can endure it. It will end someday like it did with her older kids. He will eventually be able to communicate his wants and needs, and he won't have to resort to fussing and crying.

But what if it is "special needs" fussing. What if he will never be completely able to convey his thoughts and feelings? What if he actually knows what he wants to communicate, but can't? What if he feels trapped forever? What if the incessant, never-ending, grating fussing and crying continues for, well, the rest of his life?

So how do special needs parents stay sane through stuff like this? She knows she's not the only one out there experiencing this, although she may be the only parent selfishly asking the question.

How do I endure?

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