Special needs children are a gift from God – a treasure of expressions and experiences not quite like anything else you find from anyone else in your life. These amazing kids live with daily challenges that most of us would not know how to handle. They fight battles many of us could not begin to understand. And they face obstacles some of us would avoid at all costs.
One of the most difficult aspects to raising a special needs child for true greatness is recognizing their natural limitations while removing false barriers that would limit their potential. It is truly a balance of truth and love every day. By definition, it is grace based parenting.
This is the beauty of God’s plan for families in a special needs home… God’s plan is rooted in meeting the same three needs that all kids have: a secure love, a strong hope, and a significant future. Special needs families just take some unique paths to meet these needs.
For example, a special needs family might not always be able to lean on verbal expressions of love. They might have a child who cannot express their appreciation for all the gifts they receive. And their child may not comprehend all of the acts of serving that a family pours into their life every day. But that child finds joy in the quality time spent with a familiar face, and comfort in the gentle touch of a family member. That child learns true peace in that secure love.
Families raising a special needs child can grow weary. The days can be long and the progress can feel fleeting. This is why having a strong hope for the future must be rooted in God’s truth: These kids were born to live forever. We can never forget that, and we must share that truth with them in the most creative and patient ways possible. Who can fathom their potential when their spirits are aimed at eternity!?
That strong hope is what gives a family raising a special needs child such an amazing platform for a significant future on this side of eternity! Jesus is not limited and asks them to know his limitless nature. Jesus is not bound by the impossible and invites them to explore the possibilities of His creation. And Jesus does not focus on frustration, calling them to walk by faith.
If you are a special needs family, be encouraged. If you know a special needs family, be encouraging. Special needs kids are gifts from our Savior, and his Word calls us all to serve Him by loving them, giving them hope, and remembering their future.
-Written by Michael Regan