Special Needs is a category used to label children with any number of medical, physical, emotional or other problems. The child's special needs are more than just therapy or medicine though. They are a lifetime of every situation, location, vacation, daily life. Everything can be a special need for this child. I have three children who technically fit this category. G1 and G2 are the most severe. G1 is a constant job. She is adorable and sweet and loving. She is also living in her own world for much of the time. This afternoon, we went to the grocery store. She didn't want to go. She was hungry. As we walked up and down the aisles, she became more and more difficult. She would hide around the next aisle. She would drop down in the middle of the aisle and scream. She would pull away from us when we tried to hold her hand. Things got worse as we neared the checkout. She ran from us several times and B2 had to drag her back. When we finally made it to the checkout, she wouldn't stop touching the candy and items on the aisle. I told her to stop and that was the last straw for her. She took off running, squeezing past two people in front of us and ran to the front door. Now this was at Walmart, not exactly the best place to have a runaway child. I sent the boys after her because I couldn't fit as easily. I turned around and told H she was heading out the door and took off too. I caught up with the children at the door. B2 was dragging her back towards me. H decided he would check out without me so I took 3 of the kids out to the car. I didn't let go of her hand the whole way. She screamed and pulled. I practically drug her to the car. After buckling her in, we had a talk and some hugs.
It's scary raising a special needs child. In this case, her medicine had worn off and she had no control of herself. It would be nice to say this is a one time event, but it's not. We experience this kind of thing often. The other people around us were staring at us as if we had no control over our kids. Others don't understand what it's like to have these problems day in and day out. No one bothered to stop this little 5 year old girl who nearly ran into a busy parking lot. All they did was stare and accuse us with their looks. This is the kind of thing many parents of special needs kids go through on a daily basis. So the next time you see an out of control child at the store. Or see one running towards a busy parking lot. Offer to help out. Or at least understand that the parent might just be doing everything they can. Raising a special needs child is a lifetime event. The parent may never be finished raising the child. The child may never grow out of these behaviors. Special needs encompasses every aspect of the child's life and the lives of those around them. So show your support the next time you see one. The parents will appreciate it.