Special needs

A good sign: My daughter's going to be OK

Anchel Krishna contemplates how the world has a way of balancing her concerns about inclusion for her daughter, Syona.

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Syona enjoys the sun and sand on a recent trip to Bermuda. Photo: Anchel Krishna

Follow along as Anchel Krishna shares her experiences as mother to Syona, an extraordinary toddler with cerebral palsy.

The PVR is my best friend (sorry, Dilip). I would imagine that many overstressed, overtired parents would say the same thing. I love reading, but find it gets my brain going. So, before I go to sleep, I need to spend a bit of time watching a PVR’d show. Friday night was no exception, so I tuned into a PVR’d episode of Parenthood. Senior editor Tracy Chappell has written about this show before, too. I like the fact that it features Max, a youth with Asperger’s. Last week’s episode had Max realizing that he wasn’t “normal” and that the kids in his class were making fun of him. It was a first for Max, and the scene where he told his parents left me with tears in my eyes.

There are some not-so-great milestones children with special needs (and their parents) face as they go through life. Max’s experience is one of them.

We experienced one ourselves while we were in Bermuda recently. That was when I realized that, at some point, our vacations will need to take Syona’s abilities into account. We’ll need to look for accessible getaways as she gets harder to carry. Will this limit the parts of the world we show her? Perhaps… but we will roll with it (pun totally intended) and take it one moment at a time.

Experiencing these “firsts” is tough. It usually means I will face a tough day ahead and just have to accept the sadness, anger, and tears that help lead me toward acceptance so I can move on.

I’m also a big believer in opening my eyes to the things that cross my path so they remind me that everything will be just fine. Here’s an example of what I mean: Last week I spoke to a local college class about the parent perspective and the organization where I work. As the speaking engagement wrapped up, the teacher walked me to the campus atrium and security desk to get my parking validated. As I looked over I saw four young men sitting at a table. Laughing, having coffee, talking about school. One of them was in a wheelchair. And I smiled because it seemed to be the world’s way of balancing out the week and reminding me that inclusion is possible. And while I know that this young man likely faced—and continues to face—his own challenges, it was nice to be reminded that life is good, and inclusion can be all around us.

Have you ever experienced your child being excluded? How did it make you feel and how did you deal with it? Tweet me @AnchelK.