The What-If Questions: A Letter To Special Needs Moms


The What-If Questions LetterDear Special Needs Mom,

I wonder how you are doing? I often find myself thinking of you, when life for my kids with autism is thrown all up-in-the-air again, like it is now.

I remember how the what-if questions rocketed through my mind when we first found out about my son’s autism. And tonight, again, the questions shout deep from my mind and loud in my ears.  As I lay down, these questions alert the exhausted part of me which needs the rest deep sleep provides, to rise up and attend to their answers.

Only now, the what-if questions are about my son going to a new school. His new school is not only new to him, it is new to the area where we live. It is a school made specifically for children with autism who are unable to be successful in their current school district placement.

This school has so much to offer, including one-way mirrors (a parents dream!) so we can observe without interfering, medical and behavioral interventions, a highly desirable sensory OT room, full time therapists, full school days year round with only 2 one-week breaks!  And they can address some of the medical questions we have been unable to get answers to: Does he have seizures? Does he have full-blown Tourettes in addition to autism? Does he still have the same food allergies? Is there something else medically going on that is causing him to have such a hard time?

We have been on a difficult journey getting to this point.  I never would have thought it possible but now that we are here, one week away from the official transition there is that part of me that emerges when my head hits the inviting pillow and wonders:

What if he doesn’t like it even more than where he is now?

What if he feels tricked or cheated out of a summer break?

What if he misses Mrs. T —the summer school teacher that loves him?

What if the bus issues don't resolve but rather intensify?

What if, despite everything, he just plain hates it?

Sometimes we simply need to stick together, encouraging each other, you know? This parenting children with autism thing is somewhat new territory.  We are like the forerunners in the rising wave of children on the spectrum coming through the educational system, paving the way for those to come behind us. There are so many unknowns, which leads to so many what-if's.

But what I do know is true (Philippians 4:8), is that having Stevie in this new school is beyond what we ever thought we'd be able to have for him (Ephesians 3:20).  When the school presented the idea of sending him there, we kind of felt like laughing like Sarah did when God told her she was going to have a baby at her age! (Genesis 18:10-12). Her hearts desire was promised even though it seemed impossible. Nothing can stop the will of God. (Isaiah 14:27)

And nothing will stop His will now, either.

And you know all those interrupting what-if questions?

Statistics say the chances very high that we worried for nothing. Even better, God says he has our kids best interest at heart (Romans 8:28) and He has the ability to carryout his plans! (Philippians 1:6)

It will all work out for the good like He promised. It just sometimes a little scary in the in-between times, while we wait.

Right now I wish we could share stories, about the times we have worried so much about how things will turn out, but then God shined through with direction and solutions? Those stories give rise to faith and encouragement to the heart. (Hebrews 10:25)

Until next time,