A Special Child to A Special Mom

Author: Carlota Atienza

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You have come this far…a dweller for nearly half a century. A lot of stories to tell, a lot of memories to behold, but when you reflect on your life, is it really gold?
I am Carlota R. Atienza, a resident of Quezon City and a proud mom of two beautiful boys. I know God created each one of us so special, but I believe mine was a bit extraordinary because I have a son whom they say is quite “special”.

Yes, my 21-year-old boy was diagnosed early on by a developmental pediatrician to be on the autism spectrum classified Pervasive Developmental Disorder (Not Otherwise Specified) PDD-NOS. Children diagnosed with PDD-NOS manifest certain behaviors seen in autism but somehow do not meet the criteria for Autistic Disorder.
My world fell apart when my speculations were confirmed by the doctor. Every mother only hopes and prays for the best for their children— that they would be welcomed by the world with open arms, live a good life free of prejudices. But to know that your child is special makes you want to ask yourself, “What did I do wrong?” “Why does it have to be my son?”.
Parenting doesn’t come with a manual, so I sought medical help. “Can it be treated? After all the therapies and check-ups, would he be better?” But the answer is no. Inasmuch as I want him to be normal, no medications or therapies could cure and change his condition.
They say, ‘special children are given to special moms’. It sounds so endearing and full of bliss. But let’s be realistic and honest. That’s not what mothers feel at the first few moments they realized they would become a mother to a special child. Fears, anxieties and sadness come first. Tears greet at sunrise and until the sun sets.

When I got to know my son’s condition, the pain was unbearable. I would cry until my tears ran out. And even when I was tired of crying, the pain still remains. When all efforts have been exhausted, I was still heartbroken. If only tears could heal my son would have been healed a long time ago.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my son beyond anything. I prayed so hard to become a mother and it took me nearly three years to be blessed with one. I love him to the moon and back, to infinity and beyond. My love for him is the very reason why I am feeling all these pain and I am crying all these tears. I want my son to have a good life that he deserves.
But with the situation he is in, all I can do as his mother is to give him the love, acceptance and support that he needs. I have to give the unconditional love he deserves, the acceptance that overcomes people’s prejudices, and the support this world could not offer. I would give my all to my children even if it entails my life.
I could only pray for God’s sustenance and hope that this world would become a better place for him even if he is different from the rest.

Carlota R. Atienza
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