So, this post might sound to some like I am complaining about something I should be thankful about, but I really am not complaining… so please don’t take it that way.
I have a son that is gifted. I knew at a young age that my son was bright, and I also knew that he had needs that were different from other children. Would I classify my child as special needs? By textbook definition, no. By our lifestyle and his needs, yes. I love my son with a love that will never fail. With that said, I do have days in which he drives me absolutely batty. 🙂
My son is very type A in his personality; those who are around him frequently can attest to this fact. When did I first notice this about him? Probably around the age of 6-8 months when he started to become easily overstimulated. He had a love for “tags” or anything silky (the edge of a blanket, a tag, a stuffed animal, etc.), and he would sit while he was playing, watching television (at an older age), or going to sleep and he would rub these tags. I remember about the age of about 15 months he was not feeling well, I had on sweatpants and had the waist band rolled over (as usual), my son followed me around for about 45 minutes rubbing the tag of my pants. Weird? yes. Funny? Absolutely.
As my son has aged he has become more “set in his ways.” My son is very creative, but he is also very literal. We hear the words, “don’t lie Caylie” about a hundred times a day in our house when Caylie is pretend playing. Our son constantly “harps” at our daughter about her pretend play, about how her clothes don’t match, and much more. As a small child, our son would want and need things in a particular order or fashion, everything had its place and every place had a thing. He was very particular about his clothing… we had to cut tags out of his shirts, socks had to be perfectly straight on his toes, certain textured clothes were not okay for him. He had texture issues with food when he first started eating.
Another thing about my son that causes issues is that he seems to be unable to “let it go.” When he gets something in his head, he will not let it rest until he has a solution he is satisfied with. He is almost unable to move on to another task until he resolves in his mind the current issue, and it causes him great distress when he has to.
Cobe is also very easily frustrated, and when things don’t come easily to him he becomes very upset, and will even cry. He also hates to disappoint people, and when faced with a decision of choosing between doing something with one person or another, he becomes very distressed and will get to the point of crying at times because he doesn’t want to disappoint someone. He is very inquisitive, and asks questions that I often times cannot answer. When this happens I say “let’s look on the internet” or “ask daddy.” ha ha
I don’t say any of these things to hurt or be-little my son. I love him very much, and I love the quirks of his personality. I say these things because I become overwhelmed at times with the task of raising Cobe. Not because I can’t handle it, but because I feel that I am in some way failing him as a mother because I cannot properly meet his needs at times. I have tried to adapt to this, by letting him know ahead of time if we have a change in schedule, and by allowing him plenty of “down-time” in the evenings and on the weekends. Even still, most times I feel inadequate at the job of being his mother. He is already, at the age of 10, much smarter than I could hope to be in my life, and I worry that I won’t be able to give him the things that he needs to grow his intelligence, to challenge him, or to keep him interested in learning new things.
So yes, I think my son has special needs. They may not be the textbook definition of “special needs,” but they are special. I love my sweet son Cobe. Tomorrow is his 10th birthday, and I cannot imagine my life without him. 🙂
As always, I welcome your comments.