In my practice as a speech/language therapist, I see toddlers, children and young adults with a variety of special needs labels and a myriad of challenges. Each child is special, each experience as humbling as the day I graduated more than 35 years ago. Some move quickly towards their goals and functional communication, while others lag behind. With each, I try to find their core humanity and connection and bring them out towards the sun.
The mothers of many participate in our sessions and transfer the meaning to the child’s daily life. They smile when their child is productive and happy and they show sadness or worry when their child has difficulty. Each mother tries to see life through their child’s eyes and to make every struggle more rewarding and less stressful. Their special relationship is evident and inspiring. These women are my heroes, waking each day to protect their well-loved child and grow the foundation for a successful independent future. Each one spends countless hours educating themselves on how best to support their child and hold their family together. Each one deserves an award from the college of “MOSK”—Mom of Our Special Kids.
When we look at research statistics of families with special needs children we see high rates of divorce and splintered relationships. If we were to study moms of children with special needs we would see an abundance of empathy for their child and others, never ending energy to meet daily challenges, and an ever flowing river of faith that their child will meet his or her potential. It seems only right that we should celebrate them this month, that we should hail their strength and their love, and that we should learn from them. Nothing is more important than what we do for our children. A very happy Mothers’ Day to all of you mothers who help bring out the best in your children through your sweat and tears and hope and love.
Sharon Hensel-Cohen is a speech/language pathologist in private practice and Director of Nicky’s World, a center for limited and non-verbal communicators and their families. (Nickysworld.com.) Contact her at [email protected]