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Who’s to blame for special children?

 
Kids with special needs must need special parents, suggests Marlon Abrahams.
By Marlon Abrahams
Article originally in Parent24
"You and I have been physically given two hands and two legs and half-decent brains. Some people have not been born like that for a reason. The karma is working from another lifetime. I have nothing to hide about that. It is not only people with disabilities. What you sow, you have to reap. You have to look at things that happened in your life and ask why. It comes around." This was the comment that got Glenn Hoddle fired from his job as England manager in 1999.

Sometime further back, much, much further back the Spartans apparently threw their special children from the city walls. And it’s been well-documented that in the wild, animals abandon their special off-spring to the mercy of nature.

I personally think that the people who’ve committed their lives to taking care of children with special needs are the special ones, like the crowd at www.orionfriendship.org

Facing the choices

I received a flyer from the Orion organization which “provides a home away from home for children with disabilities” in Atlantis, down on the West Coast. Their opening paragraph on the flyer reads as follows:

”Going to the doctor during your pregnancy and receiving the news that your child will be born with a certain disability is devastating! At first there are so many questions rushing through your mind. Am I going to keep the baby? Shall I have an abortion? Will I give my child up for adoption? I don’t want a disabled child! Why did God punish me like this? What have I done to deserve this? I might as well commit suicide!

That’s pretty heavy stuff to have to deal with I thought, especially when it’s generally considered that the birth of a child is supposed to be some kind of blessing or joyous occasion.

When my youngest, Sofia was under construction, we did that test to see if all was well, ‘cos her mom was at that age where doctors claim there is a greater risk of delivering a special package. And we were advised of our options. Apparently it’s quite legal to abort an impending special delivery. I wasn’t really sure about how I felt about it, but Sofia’s mom had a very strong opinion on the issue. Luckily we did not have to make that call ‘cos Sofia came out with everything in the right place and brain that works like clockwork.

A daunting task

I don’t think anyone can say with certainty from a spiritual perspective why special kids are born and even go on to lead extraordinary lives in some cases. Sure, in some cases a condition or deformity can be explained medically, but it does not make the parental task of caring for a special kid any easier.

In the animal kingdom things are pretty clear cut, if you can’t keep up with the herd, your number’s going to come up sooner than later. Presumably, since we’re at the top of the food chain, we’ve decided that it’s better to prolong the lives of special kids. Yet nowadays with the advances in medicine we are able to detect abnormalities before birth.

So what would you do? I’ve thought about it from all angles and can honestly say that the only thing I’m sure about is that I’m glad that I never had to make that choice. Which is why care-givers and parents of special kids deserve a bloody medal and credits on the karmic highway, ‘cos from my experience normal kids have the ability to send us to the funny farm at the best of times, and the patience, love, belief, and guidance required to nurture special deliveries, lies only in the domain of exceptionally special parents.

Read more by Marlon Abrahams

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

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Would you agree that having a special needs child requires being an exceptional parent?
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