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May 03, 2004


Jordan 13

In all labor on all his CARES, Is the mother of invention. Everything is in labor on all his CARES, Become available things of truth.

Marcia Lynx Qualey

You should absolutely feel proud of your son's happy giggliness.

In my opinion, that's the biggest thing you can take real credit for--that and the opportunities you provide your child. And it sounds like you're giving your son every opportunity.

What more could he ask for?


I had a speech imped. until the second grade. Stuttered like Mel Tillis reading the dictionary in German. I remember my Mom crying once when I told a particular long story...and the story wasn't a sad one. Was pulled away from my class couple of days a week to work with a therapist...it worked. So much so that last week I spoke to several hundred people as part of my job.

Must be difficult now, but as your child will undoubtedly thank you in the future as I do for my folks now, stick with the support and love for him (which is apparent that you do). One day he'll be so far removed from that place that when he tells people he rode the short bus, they won't believe it.


Great post! You have such a great attitude.

It's hard to get past the negative attitudes about special needs that we have been exposed to our entire lives. Don't feel bad for your initial disappointment. It's perfectly natural and understandable - every parent wants their children to be 'normal,' whatever that is. We don't want them to have anything that makes their life more difficult - or gives other children an opening for teasing.

Pat yourself on the back for overcoming those initial feelings and seeing that your child is a wonderful little boy that just needs assistance in overcoming an obstacle. You are helping him get what he needs - and making it a good experience for him instead of a shameful one. There's absolutely no shame in it - we all have something, heck many things, that aren't perfect. Shoot, I can't walk and chew gum at the same time. :)

Good for you!


My kindergartener is in special ed, as well. Partially because of an auditory processing disorder, but partially because he was neglected when he was younger by his biomom. (He didn't hold a writing utensil for the two years preceeding school. He wasn't taught his alphabet, how to count, or his colors.) Due to the neglect, his top four front teeth are rotted and mostly missing (yes, we've taken him to the dentist), and this has caused speech problems. He was screamed at more often than he was loved, and was even occasionally physically abused. He watched his biomom throw big tantrums when she was upset. He wasn't fed regularly, so it's nothing to him to steal food. These last things combined made for a delay in his social skills as well. I completely understand the term "special needs" child.

Thank God his dad got custody of him, finally, last October. My problem is that I'm afraid that teachers, or, honestly, even strangers who see him on the street, will blame me for the AVOIDABLE delays. (I have no problem with him being in special ed because he has a learning disability.) I worry that people see him and think, "His mother must be horrible!" I find myself wanting to explain our situation to everyone I meet - WE JUST GOT CUSTODY IN OCTOBER, I want to shout. I want to explain to them how much BETTER he is doing than when we first got him. I find myself loving him as if I were the one to give birth to him five and a half years ago, and calling him my own. But then I turn around and don't want to take the blame for the effects of the abuse and neglect he suffered at his biomom's hands.

I'm certain I'm rambling at this point - not sure how this related to your post at all to begin with, anymore...


Our 3-year-old also rides "the short bus" - although his calls it the little bus, to distinguish it from the big bus. (And he has a Bob the Builder backpack, and some social delays to go along with this speech delay.) It almost killed me putting him on the bus, but our school district social worker talked me out of driving him because she insisted he would love it. She was right - he loves the bus, loves his teacher, and he is thriving. Some of our close friends still seems to be a little uncomfortable discussing his developmental delays, and some people at work have even stopped asking about him, so even though he is doing great, I think there is a lot of stigma still associated with special education....


You go girl - you are so the wonderful mom of that wonderful kid. Your attitude is tops, seriously. I wish I could be him for a day, to know that kind of unconditional love again :) he is a lucky boy, and a happy boy and wow, does that make all the difference. I hope that his therapy helps him, and I am sure it will. Also, good for you for obviously knowing that he needed some help with his speech so early. He will likely progress right through it since he is still so young, and be with his peers in speech development by K or 1st grade. Kudos to you. Thanks for writing about this important, sensitive topic :)


Big Trophy to Mom and Dad who not only have to put forth the normal effort, but are in a situation that requires extra effort! People who have trouble with speech are often VERY good listeners ... and their observations often change the world.


Bravo Martha. Bravo. :)


Lucky little boy. He has a little problem, and parents who love him enough to get him the help he needs. Kudos to you.

My little boy was a big smiler, and made others smile too. They really are a joy when they have that kind of personality.

Best of luck.



"The short bus" has been the topic of jokes for many years, hasn't it? That's just sad because people are so afraid of others who are different.

I remember when I was in elementary school and there was "the special class". Some kids were mongoloids, now known as having Downs Syndrome, some were deaf,blind or mentally retarded. They were all clumped into one class...."the special class". We were told not to stare at them but we did stare at them because we were curious. We didn't know anything about them. And you know what???? We never did! They were just kids and we never learned a damn thing about them. It's a pity!

Now schools have the knowledge that not everyone is the same and kids have different needs.
If your son needs speech therapy and he is getting it then be proud! At least something is being done to help him. The fact that he loves the bus means it's all in the way you perceive it!
If we could all look at things through our childrens' eyes we would be better people!

As for taking credit for his wonderful behavior, I say YES! Sure he has a great personality and knows how to behave but I am sure when he steps out of line you put him in his place.Everything is reinforced with love. That's YOUR doing! Parents work hard to teach their kids the difference between right and wrong. A round of applause for a job well done, Mom!


My daughter was in physical therapy for a few months. It gave me such an anxiety attack the first time I realized (as I watched her play with peers in her first preschool class) she was ((((Gasp)))) different than everyone.

I'm not convinced she had the same feelings about being different. She loved physical therapy and I came to think of it as an elaborate Gymboree class our insurance paid for.

As for our brilliant children who are happy and smiling all the time. I hesitate to say this, but I've raised both my children pretty much the same way in the same environment with the same rules and one is a horrendous tantrumer and the other has rarely had a tantrum. I believe in temprement...absolutely.

I didn't believe in it when my daughter slept through the night at 6 weeks old (11pm to 7am) and I believed I had taught my daughter to sleep so well! But I started to believe in temprement when I tried to do the same things with my son and he simply refused to sleep through the night until he was nearly a year old!


Funny, neither of our kids needs a label telling everyone how special they are, everyone just knows. But they get one anyway. They must be very, very, very special. Aren't we lucky? :D


Wonderful post. I always find comfort in the words that are put here...They often help ME heal and I know I am NOT alone in my parenting. Today is no exception. My oldest Son rides a short bus too. It comes right up to our drive way and has arrive all year long(even in summer) since Dan was three. It IS a Magic Bus! It HAS been hard being a parent of a child with Special Needs(that is a LONG story for my blog)(and another that is GT) but safe to say... the last 7.5 years has been easier than I thought it might be. The world IS dealing with diversity and differences better than when I was growing up. BRAVO to you for sharing.


Bravo! Very well written. What "exactly" is normal anyway? I don't know one person that lives a "normal" life. I respect parent more that have children that are a little "different" than other kids because you have to learn things that some of us other parents don't always do as well....patience.


My husband and I often wonder about things like this - usually shortly after we see some child screaming and throwing a tantrum!

How much credit do we deserve for having happy, well mannered children? Were we just gifted with them? Would they have turned out to be great kids regardless of how hard we tried to teach them manners and social skills? My son is very bright - is it because we read non-stop to him, exposed him to so many learning situations, and barely let him watch TV until he was 4? Will my daughter be stunted or, *gasp*, just "normal" because we weren't as vigilant with her - or because I drank Diet Coke the last month of my pregnancy???

Of course - there's the other side of the coin... although my son is quite bright, he talks non-stop at school. He distracts the other kids - always wanting to direct them ... and always wants to wander around the class. Is that because we talked to him too much? Is it because we allowed him to be "the leader" in so many ways at home, esp. when he was young, dictating much of what we did? Is it because we overstimulated him, so now that the second he is not being challenged, he is bored and wanders and talks too much? Is this problem our fault, or would he have been this way no matter what?

We struggle with pushing them too much - "You can do more, better, faster - you can be anything you want to be if you just work hard" - and "Don't make the same mistakes I did!" And yet, so much I worry that they are being pushed to grow up too fast - I want them to just be kids, and find their own way, at their own speed.

Parenting is such a guessing game. You can spend a lot of time either blaming yourself or assigning blame to someone else. In the end, you do what you hope is best for your child, you protect them as best you can, you do your damndest to provide them with the tools they need to survive and thrive, and then you hope and pray it was enough.

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