Military Special Needs Network

Proudly Supporting all Military Families with a Special Needs Dependent

You’re so lucky

“Yeah, well, you are so lucky that Teague can’t talk back or be rude.”

These were the words of a friend when I was sympathizing with her over how rough 3.5 year olds can be.

I know in my heart this friend didn’t intend for her words to cut like a knife. She and I have been friends for as long as I can remember, but even with that, those words hurt. A lot.

I desperately wanted to tell her that she is the lucky one because her son is able to easily find the words to be rude. To thank God that every knew word isn’t drawn out painfully, through  prompting, repeating, and gesturing. And that even with the prompts, repetition, and endless work, my son’s words are often unintelligible.

I wanted to tell her that because of Teague’s unintelligible speech I often cannot understand a simple request from him. What takes a typical child his age two seconds to request will take Teague minutes, only to not be understood, leaving both him and me in tears.

I wanted to tell her that when the time comes for the boys to enter school, she should have a sense of ease that her son will be able to tell her everything that went on that day. She will hear about new friends made, what silly thing his teacher did, and heaven forbid if he is bullied on the playground. I fear I will be lucky to hear about these things in notes home in Teague’s backpack.

I wanted to tell her that while she plans her day around dropping him off at daycare so she can go to the gym, I plan my day around Teague’s therapies. Forget going to the gym or having a social life, my son’s therapies have become my life. The line between therapist and friend is now blurred because I see them more than I see any other person.

I wanted to tell her that I live with a seven year old that has more lip than a Revlon commercial, so I understand being talked back to by a child. While there are times I want to pull my hair out in frustration, I am happy to know she is able to speak those words.

Instead of telling her all of these things, I told her that I am lucky. Yes, today Teague can’t talk back and be rude. He probably won’t be able to tomorrow. Hell, I doubt he will be able to next week. But there will come a day when he can, and when that day comes, we will celebrate.

I am lucky because I am able to see how truly wonderful that accomplishment will be.

Miranda is a Navy wife and mother to three kids: Hailey, Josie and Teague. All three have a swallowing disorder, Teague has ASD and Josie has Chiari. She was recently diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos syndrome. Miranda is the VP of Community Outreach for the Military Special Needs Network. You can contact her at MirandaFort@MilitarySpecialNeedsNetwork.com

4 comments on “You’re so lucky

  1. maria
    July 23, 2013

    I’m sorry to say she is not a friend. With friendship you should be able to speak your mind. I would have said really is this all you got out his lack of words. I tell you what it pains me not understand his simple wants and desires. When he’s in pain and I cry with him and show Mom where it hurts. Asking God to help us. But you’re right he’s not rude but you are thoughtless. You say you wanted you wanted to tell her but you did not what does that say about you and how you value yourself. Because I see a great Mom that deserves my respect and thoughtfulness because I value her friendship I think before I talk.

  2. Jeni Wamaling
    July 23, 2013

    Oh, Miranda, I feel you. Believe me, I feel you. My son, Charlie, who has a diagnosis of moderate to sever ASD, can say “mama” and “daddeeeee”, but neither consistently. Other than that, it’s just a bunch of sounds and sometimes some things that sound an awful lot like words. And, my friends with completely NT kids tell me all the time how lucky I am that he doesn’t “need” to play all the time and how he’s so well-behaved and doesn’t talk back. Now that my daughter is almost 2 and I see how much she can communicate, I am so sad that Charlie and I have to work so hard to figure out what he needs. They don’t understand. They never will. I would tell them all about it. The assumption that what they said is humorous is ignorant. They can’t understand unless moms like us let them know that it’s just not the case. This was very well-written and you have an excellent gift for getting your point across…share it with your buddies.

  3. Lisa N
    July 23, 2013

    Mr. Teague is lucky to have such a strong momma that will NEVER give up on him. And I know when he finally does get the hang of talking back, he will do so with such flair and eloquence, even Hailey will be impressed!

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    September 23, 2013

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This entry was posted on July 23, 2013 by in All.
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