the things we take for granted

I teach kids with special needs so I hear about and see all kinds of strange and wonderful things each day. Disabilities don’t scare me or freak me out and it is rare when a disability surprises me. There is such a range of disability from very mild (slow learner) to severe and profound (cerebral palsy or autism). Sometimes I can’t believe that I turned out OK, that I have 10 fingers, 10 toes and can communicate with people around me and my environment. Thinking about these things does not at all consume a large part of my thoughts, but it pops up every now and then mostly in conjunction of wanting to have children. Growing up I thought I wanted to have a truckload of kids, at least 5. I’m not from a big family, but I just love children so much that I wanted a ton of them. After being a special ed. teacher, I’m scared of the possibilities of all the disabilities. When it’s your job you are still removed from it, but when it is in your family, you live it. My niece has recently been diagnosed with a speech disorder. It’s called apraxia and it affects the motor planning for speech. She’s a smart 2 year-old, but she wasn’t adding words to her vocab. and a few assessments revealed that she has a disability. I can’t believe it’s in my family, that it’s so close to me. And being on this side has changed my perspective a little. My niece should be OK, she’s smart and it doesn’t affect her cognitively. But, imagine knowing what you want to say, having thoughts race through your head and you can’t get it out, you can’t get your mouth to make the right sounds, you stand there wanting so much to tell others what you know, but your mouth won’t let you. Just imagine, the things we take for granted.

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