a prayer for moms of special needs children

Although being a mom is the best job I've ever had, I have to confess that it is a tough gig.

Being a mom of a child with special needs can be an even tougher gig at times.

However, no matter how tough mothering can be (special needs or not) it is always a blessing and a privilege.

There are times though, when my heart aches for those who are in the trenches fighting daily for their kids to live the most fulfilled lives possible. 

I know that raising a son on the autism spectrum requires more energy, greater patience, and constant monitoring as his manifestations change all the time.


Watching him struggle through wanting friends, but not being able to say "hi" to them because it hurts him to look them in the eyes breaks my heart. 

Seeing him anxious about things that would not phase typical kids is painful.

Having him struggle with his rigidity while wanting to play with others is frustrating. He can't give up doing things his way. It creates too much anxiety; so much so that he will choose to play alone than play with others. It hurts as I watch my other two other sons navigate the typical way of play by taking turns with each other's ideas as Luke retreats into his own world.

The days when Luke has tantrums more akin to a toddler than a 4th grader, as strangers gawk, I feel embarrassed for me and sad for him.

When a friend tell me that "consistency is key" to improve my hyperactive, sensory seeking child, I feel ashamed. Does she not know how consistent we are? I begin to doubt myself. I question, "Maybe I'm not doing enough?" 

Statements like "he'll grow out of it" or "I was like that when I was a kid and got over it eventually" truthfully fill me with anger. He has autism. I bitterly think to myself, "It is a neurological disorder, not allergies. You may have had some traits. We all do. But, when you mix all the traits together, it creates and very different outcome." It feels like they are minimizing my son's daily struggle. It makes me feel defeated because I wonder if people will ever get autism while I work so hard advocating for this disorder and for my sweet Luke.


In my moment of frustration, I feel like replying, "Yes, but you socialize typically, hugs don't physically hurt you, you can look people in the eyes, and you are able to carry on give and take conversations that don't revolve around reptiles for an indefinite amount of time."

But I hold back because I know they are not hurting my feelings intentionally. It is just like when I miscarried and people would say things like, "it is common" or "at least you have one child already."

Sometimes friends say insensitive comments out of feeling uncomfortable or simply out of not knowing what else to say. We've all been there. I get it, but the words still sting.

And I acknowledge that I am ultra sensitive, which makes my interpretation of their words more painful than they should be. 

To go nine years without hugs and "I love you's" challenges me greater than anything else. In the autistic mind, he knows that he loves me. Why then would he have to touch me (doesn't everyone hate to be touched?) or tell me that he loves me since I know that already?

As I travel on this ever changing and often lonely journey, the Lord has put a specific prayer on my heart for mothers of special needs children.

Dear Lord,

Please give daily strength to the mom who is serving her child whose special needs are sometimes greater than what she can handle. May she know that you are there with her.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

Give this mom the protection of God to deflect the stares and comments from strangers. 

But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
Psalm 3:3

Help her to not take to heart the well-meaning comments of others. May friendships and relationships be strengthened by words of sensitive encouragement. And may there be forgiveness when someone hurts her feelings by words of insensitive advice or judgement.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Colossians 3:13

May supportive friends and moms walking similar paths enter her life so she does not feel so alone.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work; if one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Give her perseverance as she struggles. Lots and lots of it.

And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulations bring about perseverance.
Romans 15:5

And more than anything, help her to see her child as you do, which is in Your image. 

So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Genesis 1:27


Amen.



31 comments:

  1. Hi Katie,
    This post means so much to me. I too am an ASD Mum (in Australia) The prayer you wrote brought me to tears and I just found so much comfort in the words and the Bible verses you wrote. Words to reflect on and be encouraged and carried.
    Thank you xo

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    1. Thank you, Neil for taking the time to read this post. I love the special bond moms of children with ASD have.
      Hugs to you.
      Katie

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  2. weeping tears of comfort and gratitude reading this.
    darling katie. you already know how this blessed me.
    so grateful for your obedience in sharing this, because it is clearly holy spirit inspired. these words will soothe my soul time and again. so glad you gave us this gift of encouragement.
    thank you! love you, friend. glad to have you close in this journey!

    praise jesus!

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    1. Hannah,
      You know how much I adore you. You inspire me on this journey.
      Love,
      Katie

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  3. thanks for this. I needed it today and plan to reread it...

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    1. Hi Julia,

      I'm so grateful that God used this to bring comfort to you. Praise Him.

      Love,
      Katie

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  4. Your words are always encouraging Katie. Praying for you and your house full of boys.

    xxoo

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    1. Well Joy,

      You know all too well the mother's heart of a child who has struggles. You always make me feel more confident after reading your story.

      Love,
      Katie

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  5. Thank you for this prayer! As a mom to three kids with special needs (and seven neurotypical kids), I very much appreciate this post!!

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    1. Wow, your story must be incredible! God must be working mightily in your home. : ) Just the fact that you are the mother of 10 children amazes me. Blessings to you!

      Love,
      Katie

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  6. How well I understand your heart. I now have two diagnosed with ASD and one with severe ADHD. I love this prayer. It's really quite powerful. I'm going to print it out and put it in my Bible. Thank you, sister.

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    1. Betsi,
      I always love connecting with you through your story. I feel like your life resembles some of what we go through and that I'm not alone. Jack has been diagnosed with ADHD recently. I am now trying to manage both behaviors and make sure that Charlie is not left out. I admire your strength and wisdom.
      Love,
      Katie

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  7. Hey Katie, Thanks for sharing today and for givng some much needed considerations about how actions and words hurt, even "well intentioned" advice!

    Some friends have started a ministry to help children and parents of special needs children called Rising Above Ministries. They may even have a chapter near where you live. Jeff and Becky Davidson and their son JA are the founders. Awesome family! They know what you are going through! Hope you can find the time to contact them! Blessings precious Mom!

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    1. Hi Patty!

      I will look up Rising Above Ministries. Thanks for sharing the info.!

      Love,
      Katie

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  8. Thanks so much, Katie! I needed to read this today, as yesterday was an ultra-hard day with my ASD guy. You blessed me with your words and your heart!

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    1. Charla, I am sorry that yesterday was extra tough. I am praying for you today. I am hoping that you get a reprieve.
      Love,
      Katie

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  9. So beautifully written! I could have totally used this 10 years ago when I was dealing with a 2 year old with sensory integration disorder. I can't tell you how many times people told me that I just wasn't disciplining my child and that I needed to be tougher, but really that was not the issue. THey just didn't understand him. Thank you!

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    1. Yes, kiddos with SID get so many bad comments and looks. It is so unknown (even now) by the general public. Although other didn't understand him, you did and that is what truly matters! : )
      Love,
      Katie

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  10. Hi Katie,

    Thank you so much for your honest, encouraging and uplifting words. I will surely be sharing with fellow Warrior Mumz in our Praying Mothers Klub here in Nigeria. I know that God will continue to strengthen and upold us to and in difficulties. I know He will continue to guide and defende us and that He will continue to increase our children far above special needs, far above disability, inability and incapacitation and will surely restore them all to optimum capacity in Jesus mighty name, amen.

    Much love to you and yours

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  11. Oh, how beautiful. I will join you in prayer.

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  12. What a wonderful post Katie!
    Thank you for giving us a tiny glimpse of the struggles
    and joys involved in raising a child with special needs.
    You have blessed so many mothers just by writing this, bless your
    heart friend. xoxo

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  13. This was a beautiful post, Katie. Thank you for sharing your struggles here so that readers looking in may be taught and others walking the same path can be encouraged.
    Blessings to you, sweet lady:)

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  14. Another unbelievably honest and beautiful post my friend. He is so gorgeous :: I can imagine how hard this is for a mama.

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  15. This post means so so much to me. I just found out my daughter is autistic, and I feel every word of what you just said

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  16. Oh My!! I feel your pain. I've cried your same tears and prayed your same prayer. I have a 22 yr old son with autism who sounds very much like your son. We just dropped him off at college today! Several young men came up to him with "wonderful welcome back" greetings! (When he was younger he couldn't play with anyone). It made my heart melt! It was awesome! I also have a special needs almost 14 yr old daughter. I invite you to visit my blog at http://faithfulmomof9.wordpress.com

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  17. Being a mom of a lovely boy on the spectrum is not very easy......I cherish our 3y.o. son EVERY single moment. More so through his every single frustration. He cannot express himself and knows with me he can be his true self. Because as his mom, I will (do my best) to understand - and when he allows it, I will help!

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  18. My son Corey is now 20 years old. I also a mother of three, a single mother, have been through alot of ups and downs over the years. But I am so proud to say my autistic son graduated with honors and a 3.5. Yes he was in special classes, but it shows that all the hard work is worth it. Corey now wants to make video games and still struggles with being around people, but he is a wonderful, sweet young man.... I pray for all you mothers and your precious children. God loves us all so much. Just keep up the faith and I pray your lives turn out better than you realized it could possibly be. May the Lord always Bless you all. Amen

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  19. God bless you.We also have a 5 year old boy with speech delay. I am praying specially for him today for him to be all that God has destined him to be.This is the first posting I read today and it is truly wonderful.Thank you. Ola and kemi

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  20. Thank you for your sweet words...so encouraging. I love connecting with other moms on a similar journey. Much love to you sweet mama, Natalie Falls

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  21. I LOVE this post...the prayer and scripture is amazing and I am so happy I came across it! I have a friend who I love dearly who has adopted a little girl with special needs and needs the strength of these words...I will be praying this over her for the next 30 days...THANK YOU and GOD BLESS!!

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  22. My beautiful son is recently diagnosed with cerebral palsy. I was looking for a daily prayer for him. This was a lovely find in place of it. I'll print this out and pray for both my husband and myself. Now to find one for my son. Thanks!

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