Through a Mother’s Eyes – An Interview

I recently had the privilege to gain insight into the mindset of a mother, whose son has a disability. Having special needs myself, I often wondered what goes through a parent’s mind, when they learn their child has a handicap. I hope you enjoy the following Q and A as much as I enjoyed conducting it.

1. Jumping right in, were you aware before having your son, that he was going to be born with Spina Bifida?

There was no sign during my pregnancy that there was anything wrong. Since it was my first child I had nothing to compare my pregnancy to.In fact I had never even heard of Spina Bifida.

2. What went through your mind when you were first told, your son had Spina Bifida?

I think I was in shock and didn’t really understand. Immediately after Dakota was born they took him aside to clean him up and nothing seemed wrong to me. Labour was induced since my water had broken the night before and I had an epidural. I didn’t see his back until hours later when they let me hold him before they transferred him to a different hospital. When I did get to hold him I immediately felt the love a mother has for her child and, realizing he was going to face a lot of challenges, I remember telling him I’d always be there for him.

3. In looking back through the years, what would you say has been some of the things that stand out to you, on raising a child with a disability?

Dakota is first my child and secondly was born with Spina Bifida. Highlights are mostly the same as any child first day of school, first words, first time standing with braces, piano recital, graduation, prom.

4. What has been some of the lows, of raising a child with a disability?

I always keep in mind Dakota is the one with the disability. He is the one who has had many surgeries and challenges with school. It’s always difficult to see your child having to deal with all the challenges.

5. Looking back is there anything you would have done differently?

I think I should have been stricter.

6. Any advice for people with disabilities?

We all have disabilities. Some are more obvious than others. Never limit yourself. You are not disabled but differently able.

7. Any advice for parents of a person with a disability?

Accepting that we don’t have control over everything that happens in life is the first lesson you learn. After that, your child is your child first and has a disability second. Enjoy your children.

8. Is there anything else you could add, about being a parent of a person with a disability?

I am blessed to have wonderful children. I am very proud of both of them. I’m just an ordinary mom who has extraordinary children. They have taught me many things about life and love.


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