special needs

‘How could this happen?!’ I found myself unexpectedly pregnant at 40. Then the doctor said, ‘Syndrome.’ I held back tears.’: Mom births baby with down syndrome, ‘The minute I saw her sweet little head red hair, I fell in love’

“My phone rang while I was asleep. It was my doctor on the other end. ‘Your testing came back positive for Trisomy 21. I’m sorry.’ I started ugly crying. ‘How on Earth could this happen to me?!’ At 36 weeks pregnant, I noticed the baby hadn’t been moving. I did all the things I knew I needed to do. I ate, drank, lay down on my side. Still, I didn’t feel anything. I called the nurse. ‘Come in right away.’ I drove so fast. She hooked me up to monitors. I knew immediately my baby was in trouble. She was in distress.”

‘Beth, there’s police at your house. Are you ok?’ I found my son handcuffed to a hospital bed, drugged.’: Mom advocates for son with severe autism, PANDAS, ‘Don’t ever give up on your child’

“I locked my daughter in her room. ‘He’s gonna get me. Mama, save me.’ He bit my arms, hands, and chest, drawing blood with each bite. I begged him to stop. It was too late. He was not him. I fell beside the couch. I felt like a battered wife, except it was my child. My child who, after a rage, would cry and kiss me, looking at me with big, sad eyes, begging me to ‘fix it.’ I wasn’t mad at him. I was completely broken.”

‘Can I give the a tree a hug?’ She tells me her brain is stuck. ‘Why is the sun shining?’: Caretaker of an autistic child insists ‘I am a better person because of her. I see the world in a changed way.’

“I said, ‘Break a leg!’ She got furious and started yelling at me, ‘Why do you want me to break a leg?? She takes things exactly the way they are, what you say is what she hears, and she processes the language just as it’s spoken. Katy has her own unique way of thinking, which I adore.”

‘No, no, don’t sit next to him darling, move away.’ This sentence cuts like a knife. It shatters my heart into a million pieces.’: Mom of autistic son wishes no other parent to ‘experience this ignorance’

“We were just waiting to see Santa. I will never forget that room, it was so beautiful. All done up with snowmen, lovely lights, Christmas Music playing. It was sensory heaven for my little boy. I will never forget that woman. I will never forget the way she looked at my little boy. The way she stared. The look of disgust on her face.”

‘I don’t want this life. I’m not cut out for this!’ I heard ‘I’m sorry’ on the other end. Adrenaline began, my face got hot. Then the tears started to roll.’: Boy with down syndrome diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia

“Oliver was on vacation with his dad when I got the call. ‘He stopped walking.’ Weeks pass. His lymph nodes are swollen. Something just wasn’t right. I remember telling my boss, ‘I have to leave!’ Before I could even get a response, I was gone. I’m worried the ER doctor missed something. The doctor is quiet. I can see in her eyes she is trying to stay calm for me, but something is there. I scream. Deep down, she knows something I don’t.”

‘No Jack! No doctor!’ I hold him tightly, feel his heart beating. It is heart breaking. I question why I put him through what feels like torture.’: Mom thankful for affectionate siblings who help calm autistic brother, ‘It just melted my heart’

“I have had to physically put myself between our boy and the floor so he doesn’t hurt himself by banging his head in frustration. It is heart breaking. I make sure to bring Jack to all of his siblings’ visits as well. WHY?! These rare moments. ‘Oh Jack, I’m not hurt. Give me a hug!’ She assured her anxious brother. ‘See Jack, Maddie is okay.’ Olivia whispered into his hear. It quickly became a sister sandwich. How beautiful is that?”

‘They were born like this. There is nothing we can do.’ They were tied to beds, drugged, covered in bruises. I couldn’t accept that answer.’: Woman helps dozens of abused, disabled children find loving homes, preaches ‘every child has value’

“I entered the orphanage. Hundreds of children were living there, but the halls were silent, expect the occasional wail or moan. I saw skeletal bodies, empty eyes, smelly diapers. I heard doctors calling them ‘disasters.’ One child had a sack of fluid coming from the back of her skull. It was her brain, and it was leaking fluid. Children were covered in cigarette burns. I couldn’t believe my eyes. And I couldn’t look away. I knew I had to help.”

‘I’m having a hard time finding the baby’s head,’ the doctor said. ‘Were you bit by a mosquito during pregnancy?’: Mom births miracle baby with microcephaly, ‘He brings us endless joy!’

“I went for my routine check-up with my OB. The vibe of the room felt off. My doctor asked, ‘Have you been out of the country while pregnant?’ So many questions went through my head all at once. Is my baby alive? Is he okay? How’s his head? How many fingers and toes does he have? I was already in love with him, but so scared. And then I felt it. ‘This baby isn’t going anywhere.'”

‘My ears got hot, my blood was boiling. I took a screen shot of his soul-crushing report card. My mommy instinct was pissed.’: Mom appalled by son with Down syndrome’s report card, ‘Stay angry. Keep fighting for your child.’

“The envelope showed up in Judah’s backpack. I wasn’t expecting his report card, but I was eager to see how the goals we put in place manifested themselves. Imagine my surprise when that paper was littered with the lowest scores possible. My stomach lurched. My logical brain understood, but my mommy instinct was still pissed. Imagine how this little boy will feel when he understands what those 1’s will signify?!”

‘My son makes fun of the autistic boy in his class and it’s hilarious!’ You could hear a pin drop. We stopped our giggling, and turned to her.’: Mom of son with autism raises awareness about adult bullying

“I immediately thought I must not have heard her incorrectly. No one would think this, let alone say it out loud. She continued without fear. ‘My son has the whole act down. He covers his ears, repeats words, and even does a hand twitch! He has the flap down perfectly.’ My stomach dropped. I started repeating to myself, ‘Do not cry. Do not cry.’ I willed myself to hold it together. My son covers his ears. My son’s hands twitch. My son flaps his hands. And one of my greatest fears is he will be bullied for it.”

For our best love stories, subscribe to our free email newsletter: