I’m the mother who, more than a decade ago, had to survive the diagnosis of her child. I’m the mother who didn’t know where to start. The one who asked herself thousands of times: “Why him and why me?” and though lost in pain and confusion, never gave up on loving and believing in her own child.
I’m the mother who immigrated to a different country just to ensure her child’s right to appropriate education. The mother who learned to speak a different language and went for a second time to college, just to be sure she had the proper knowledge and background to become her child’s best advocate ever.
I’m the mother who has spent endless nights in an Intensive Care Unit. And I’m the same one who, instead of letting go of a belief in God after seeing her child suffering, decided to keep believing and focus in the miracles.
I’m the one who started special education services along with her child, realizing he would never succeed if she didn’t started doing her homework too. I’m the mother who has given up on raises and promotions just to be home by 3 p.m. everyday. I’m the mother who has learned to dream new dreams for the sake of love, without a day doubt that her decision was the best.
I’m the mother who has made a career out of frustration, insecurities and injustices, because I was once the compliant one who would believe in others’ expertise and would doubt her own voice. I was the one who had to wake up after being shaken by life, just to realize that in this path of love raising a child with special needs, a mother or a father (when it applies), is the only person who really cares about that child.
I’m the mother who has devoured books on best practices for inclusion, and has laminated paragraphs of the Individual with Disabilities Education Act, just to stick them to the walls of the shower because sometimes, this is the only place to read and this is the only time to say out loud: “I can protect you and I can assure the best life ever, child.”
I’m the mother who has brainwashed herself into believing that her child with a disability has a future, and that collaboration can be possible. So, when you deny my child his human right to belong and to be exposed to what he deserves, I’m the mother of the child you are discriminating against. And you may try to justify yourself under the results of testing and evaluations, but because I’m his mother, I’ll never give up on him and I know there is always another way.
I’m the mother who despite all the challenges, is willing to do everything possible, and more, to assure her child’s best possible education. I’m the mother who believes in her child and can’t ever doubt his abilities, because long ago, I stopped believing in any disability other than prejudice and a closed mind-set.