The "special treasures" among us

Parents must be masters in acknowledging their shortcomings, their 'special needs' as well as their passions, regardless of how varied they might be, and that’s when the term 'differently-abled', makes sense.

The

By Anitta Bejoy

How special is a 'special child'? Indeed special beyond measure!

Caring for a child with special needs in our family can be a rewarding, heart-wrenching as well as a challenging affair. Often they won't fit into the slots that in our minds, we design, but they will definitely be the ones showering us with boundless joy.

Raising a differently-abled child is a real challenge, how hard one may try to downplay the fact. Parents must be masters in acknowledging their shortcomings, their 'special needs' as well as their passions, regardless of how varied they might be, and that’s when the term 'differently-abled', makes sense.

The genetic disorders in children pave way for an array of developmental delays, leading to communication and behavioural problems. Though pre-natal screening is available for the diagnosis of Down syndrome, Autism often goes undetected. The symptoms of Autism - loss of speech and social skills - are related to brain abnormalities. They remain hidden at times and tend to appear as the child reaches 15-30 months, termed as "regression".

Delayed pregnancies in mothers are often attributed to the increased diagnosis of Down syndrome. The state of North Dakota was the first to place a ban on abortions related to an early diagnosis of the condition. Some other states of the US are following suit. The "heartless" feel the urge to eliminate a potential "economic burden" wrecking their lives, while some welcome with wide-open hearts, their "special treasure".

The self-esteem of a child with special needs, suffers drastically when there is an inadequacy in the love and support to be given. Former Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, who mothers a child with Down syndrome tells us that "Sometimes, even the greatest joys bring challenge, and children with special needs inspire a very, very, special love"

No one plans for a differently-abled child. I believe they are god-gifted to make our families "special".

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