By Aiveen Wong
I’ve wanted to highlight special needs kids in our magazine for a long time now. This is a topic that is close to my heart but I realize that it might be unfamiliar to many people.
Raising a special kid is a lifetime commitment that needs a lot of love, patience, persistence, faith, dedication and consistency. I know about special needs kids because I have a special angel too. My life changed because of her and I am proud to tell everyone that my hubby and I feel blessed that I have such a beautiful angel in our life. Her name is Melody. Yes, Melody, my very own angel!
During the years of raising our angel, we got to know many medical specialists, therapists, care takers, special school teachers and volunteers as well as parents and many others who have dedicated their lives to working and raising special needs kids. My hubby and I gained a lot of knowledge and skills from all of them.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude and respect to all the doctors, teachers, family members and friends who continue to give their support and love to these angels. Their love has made our journey as special parents so much more beautiful. “God has chosen us and gave us this special task to take care of these special kids because we are special parents!” This is the phrase we always use to joke among the parents in our support group. The truth is we are happy to be with our angels despite the challenges we encounter.
While putting together this issue of Urban Health, I met up with a few of my friends who are also parents of special needs kids. I invited them to share their experiences and feelings of being a special parent, with our writer, Edeline Goh.
The session continued for almost 2 hours. Edeline and I could feel their happiness and passion as they talked about their child’s development even though it is so much slower than other children of the same age.
Bear in mind, dear readers, that every little improvement in a special kid is a huge achievement for both the child and his or her parents. As I said earlier, parenting a special needs child takes a lot of love, persistence, faith, dedication and consistency.
Thanks to the creation of WhatsApp, the mommies of Melody’s classmates have created an online group for sharing. Whenever there is a little achievement or we need an opinion for something about our angels or we find a new thing to help with their development, we will share freely in this group. We post our angels’ achievement videos and photos to encourage each other. It helps us a lot.
As a special parent, we want to maximize the capability of each of our angels so they can live happily in society. We want society to accept them and not discriminate against them. As parents of special needs children, we understand that this is a very long process but we will never stop trying.
I know many special needs kids in Malaysia who need help in many areas. However, society is not aware of this. I also believe our government should look into extra aids for this group of children. We need to do something to help them.
If you’re holding this magazine now, please don’t forget to read our focus articles about special needs kids and share them with your peers. I believe you will come away with a deeper understanding of special needs kids and be more aware of the hopes and the challenges of this group of angels.
To all the special parents — never give up on our angels! Your love means everything to them. As for you special angels — never forget that you are wonderful, beautiful, charming, amazing children and that we love you all so much!