Lately I have been reading a book on children with special needs. For those of you who don’t know my third son, Joshua has some special needs. We are currently in the process of doing some testing to find out exactly what is going on with him. So, I have been reading all I can on special needs and how to handle them. I came across this one book with an illustration in it that really helped me with my perspective on special needs.
The book talks about the movie Dumbo. In the movie the baby elephant Dumbo is born with really big ears that make it hard for him to walk like other elephants. He is teased and is upset because he isn’t like the others. His mother is sad because other elephants are making fun of her baby. Later on in the movie it becomes clear that Dumbo has big ears because he was not meant to walk like other elephants he was meant to fly. Special needs kids are not like other kids, they have “big ears” and are often made fun of. But those same things that make special needs kids different also can be the things that God has a special task for them to do. The author of this book has a son who is Autistic. He has very sensitive hearing and is bothered by normal sounds. It is a characteristic of Autism. But that same thing that makes him different has also been something special that God has called him to. Because of his specialized hearing ability he has a gift for languages. His mother recognized this and has helped him to see his calling in life as a linguist.
This is really an eye-opening illustration for me right now. We are just beginning our journey of special needs with Joshua. And it is very hard to realize that your child is not like other children. I worry about him being made fun of and being different. But as this mother did, if I can realize that those same traits that make him different are there because God has made him special. God has a very unique calling for Joshua that only he can do. I don’t need to “fix” Joshua, I just need to allow God to work in him to use his differences for His purpose. I have to realize that Joshua may not walk as other elephants do, but that is because he is meant to fly.