What is “Normal”? A Special Needs Mom Perspective

Who buys toy pots or pans to let their child bang away on? Who doesn’t stop her child from tearing up the cable TV guide? Who delights in her child making a mess of the toys or joyfully playing with food? Who? Me. Yes, that’s right. I delight in these “little” things.

I am a mom of a non-verbal child with dwarfism. So any normal things my son can do, indeed, delights me.

Playing

For my son’s eleventh birthday we bought a toy pot and pan set hoping he would use it. Would this mean he would make lots of loud noise? Hopefully. And we are okay with it. Absolutely. Bring on the ear plugs.

A Normal Birthday Gift
Samuel’s Birthday Gift

We suspected he would bang away since he had pulled the pots and pans out of our kitchen cabinet drawers. And, just as we hoped, he took to the play set right away. His face lit up in a broad grin when he heard the metal meet our stone veneer floor. Where are those ear plugs? This “normal” milestone in our home brings me joy.

I delight in my son achieving self-play. Where he is mesmerized by books or toys and he can independently play for hours. I know I did as a child. He does self-play consistently, using the iPad. He can play Elmo video’s for hours. He even laughs at some of the videos. Another piece of normal in our home.

Normal Boy Toy
Playing with Teacher’s Toy Dog

Non-Verbal

I heard my son say “more” the other day. And I had a witness, his school teacher. We dropped our mouths in awe and clapped at his delightful achievement. In March, I heard him say “Mama” and even caught the event on video. Proud mommy moment for sure.

But, I have not heard him say either word since. So far his favorite word is “baby.”  Except he thinks, it means he gets more cereal. Hey, if it works for him. We’re delighted he says a word clearly. The meaning will hopefully come later.

Mobility

At eleven years old, my son is not running down the hallway, opening the door and escaping to play in our yard. He did; however, of his own accord, somehow open the sliding glass door and roll himself out onto the patio. Managing to make his way to the patio screen door, he got frustrated because he couldn’t open it. Instead, he yelped out loud. Hearing his call, I leapt into to action and rescued him from his frustration.

I brought him back into the air conditioning and shook my head with a smile. He did something most kids do, explore. Glimpses of normal, make me rejoice.

A Normal Toy
Samuel’s Monkey Toy

Normal

The other day, I saw my son tear the cable TV guide in two. I was so happy to see him do something a boy does; I let him do it. Yes, it may be a bit destructive, but I have a second guide, so I didn’t mind. I let my son do things because he CAN do them. In some households, this may not be normal. But, we are tickled to see him work these things out. In his own timing and in his own way. So, in our house, Samuel’s way is his normal.

Are you a special needs mom? What is “normal” in your household? Comment below, I read each one.

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4 Thoughts on What is “Normal”? A Special Needs Mom Perspective

  1. First of I just want to shout out loud how wonderful of a mom you are and Samuel is such a happy boy and every time I see a post, pi, or video of him he immediately puts a smile on my face.
    Normal in our house is seeing Emma going from a sitting position to a straight stand up without bending her knees, or seeing her beautiful little starfish hands, which for others doing what she does and having what she has is such a big deal, for my husband and is absolutely normal and she’s so full of life and happiness.

    Reply
    • Hi Carolina, Thank you for your kind comments. We’re humbled. Love hearing your “normal.” Samuel has the same starfish hands as Emma. And the little things are a big deal. I totally get that… we celebrate the weirdest things but it brings us great joy. I know you can relate. Nice to know, we’re not alone.
      Blessings, Evelyn

      Reply
  2. Evelyn, I am so happy to see Samuel being his “normal” growing self. It has been amazing to watch you along the way with such joys.

    I have a highly functional son where most who adk…”what special need….are you looking for something to be wrong?”

    My son can go to extremes and feel threatened or out of control, and though he is older and become more used to just yelling instead of striking out, this past month we reached a point where he just said..”I am going to just ignore it, Mom.” It was a break through. Hopefully it’s not just once and it stays, but he could say why he felt that way, and that was the growth.
    I prat for all secial needs mom’s in their unique children’s struggles. Raising any child is tough and needs a village, our special needs mom’s need God’s extra does of enveloped Wisdom. Bless us all.

    Reply
    • Hi Cheryl, I agree we all need God’s extra dose of wisdom. And, I would add lots of prayer mixed with perfect peace. Glad to hear your son had a breakthrough. Blessings on your special needs mom journey.
      Smiles, Evelyn

      Reply

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