I love this photo of my special needs son. Unplugged. He was trying to catch one butterfly, but it seems like the closer, easier butterfly was right behind him! It is a cute reminder of how children think. There is so much to see out in God’s creation, that we cannot see it all!
Some years at our house, our yard fills with wildflowers. This, of course, brings caterpillars that yield butterflies. We find the cocoons on window ledges and screens, door jams, the wall to the house, and what ever space was available for a cocoon to be made. Only on occasion, do we actually observe the caterpillar making its trek across the porch to a safe hanging place. This impromptu science lesson teaches my special needs son many things. Our yard becomes his classroom….and it keeps him unplugged.
This picture reminds me of how social media captures our children’s attention to the point where they miss what is going on around them.
Special needs life can be lonely.
No matter what our circumstances, normal is not the special needs life. The photo above just shows one of the few times, I could get my son engaged in something that interested him. It is definitely not the norm. He loves his computer tablet and his movies.
I see so many special needs young adults online these days and I think about my son who is still a child. While they may have jobs, they no longer have the same level of needs. On some level they want to be just like everyone else, and yet, their disabilities keep them from normalcy. So, in our day and age, they get online and take their need for connection to the airways. Yet, it really isn’t a good solution. We need to help our children to interact with their peers at all ages.
I homeschool my son, and sometimes, life gets a bit too lonely for us. So, I find activities for us to do. On year we were so isolated that I set up a few pen pals for my son and they exchanged letters with each other. I think we all find ourselves in this boat at one time or another, whether we work as parents, or we don’t. Or, if we have family who has shut us out, because they cannot cope with our new life and our newfound strength.
We need to be unplugged
It is one thing to connect with others online and get some “feel good” feedback, but it is another thing to make it your substitute for relationships. I pray that as my son grows up, he finds relationships that sustain and grow in person. Because honestly, we don’t really get to know people online.
I pray that all of these younger (and older) special needs adults find physical activities to sustain their very real God-given need for friendship. No matter what living situation they have, God will use them right where they are.
Plus, living and growing together in the unity of Christ, will always bring joy to our lives. Plus, we won’t miss quite as many butterflies as we did when we focus online too much!