Birthdays are a big deal. It is a day that represents another year that had passed of the child’s life, and it represents the milestones that are on its way. Birthdays are a reminder that your child is growing, maturing, and eventually will become an adult. With that said, kids’ birthdays are exciting occasions. However, there are times when birthdays are painful reminders.
Your own birthday can be hard at a certain point because it is a reminder to you that you have aged another year. It is hard when your parents have birthdays because that is a sure sign that they are aging and they have less time. The same goes when it is your beloved pet’s birthday. And last but definitely not least, when it is your special needs child’s birthday, that is quite depressing too – that is unless they are making continuous progress and are closing the gap.
Whenever a disabled child that has profound or complex needs has a birthday, it’s quite depressing. Your child has aged another year but is still just as much of a baby as he or she was since day one. Especially when your disabled child reaches the double-digits zone. That is a time when a parent of typical kids are expecting a new chapter in your their kid’s lives which involve new and meaningful friendships, dating, driving, graduating, college, and so on. Obviously not when the child turns 10, but I am talking about the teenage decade is when all of that is expected to happen.
However, when a profoundly disabled child or one that has complex needs enters that big decade, it is just another painful reminder of how your physically growing child will be soon hitting puberty but will still not be able to talk or learn. Your growing child will soon need adult diapers. You will need to look into even firmer baby proofing apparatus because your disabled child will find a way to pull away the baby proofing apparatus that you already have placed.
Every time your disabled child has a birthday, it is a painful reminder to you that instead of your child grow into a fine young man or woman that eventually will create their own lives and go off on their own – you will always have a big and growing baby or toddler.
My son isn’t profound in that way, he has evolved a lot more than that. However, he has complex needs and him staying at home would have caused him to become an overgrown kindergartner. With him being placed in this residential school has helped him grow in many ways because he is getting 24/7 much-needed therapy.
Whenever he is about to have a birthday, it is still sad because he will never be like a typical teenager (he might once he reaches deep into adulthood), but the silver lining is that at least he has made a lot of progress and each year that passes by while he is getting 24/7 therapy – that is definitely something to be celebrated.
However, for profoundly disabled children that are not capable of learning at all, birthdays will always be painful for parents.