Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Trials of A Special Needs Mom- THE AIRPORT

I'm at the O'Hare airport this morning preparing to board a flight to Shreveport Louisiana to visit my husband's parents.
Although most people get excited to pack up the family and board a plane, I'm usually terrified. Not because I'm a afraid to fly...I'm afraid to wait. My son is mentally disabled and four. He has very little speech and even less patience. So the thought of being delayed for hours on a plane or spending the night in the airport with a special needs toddler- terrifies me.

It's not just the worst case scenerios that try your resolve and work your nerves. It's the everyday little things that no one thinks about. We just got through security only because a kind check in security guard realized my son, in tears and screaming, was over stimulated and freaking out by the lines, the people and the ropes that guide the passengers through the lines. When you're a special needs mom you have to worry about too much stimulation, too much noise, too many people and an anxious child.

As we moved through security people watched. As they always do. I'm a little used to it now but I still have to talk myself through it. It's embarrassing when my son is screaming and kicking and squirming and he's clearly too big to be in stroller. A special needs stroller for bigger children. Even as I write this hands are shaking because I'm just nervous.

I had a moment to write because my husband decided to walk my son through the airport until our flight boards. I must go because we're about to board our flight. I have to tell the gate attendants that although my child is large we need to board early. He kicks and hits on his way on a plane. Oh well. It's just another day at the airport.

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