“He looks normal,” she said. It was supposed to be kind, I think. My silence evidently propelled more words and so, next came, “You know, he doesn’t look special needs. I couldn’t even tell.” I think I pointed out that his behavior was a possible indication. In that moment, he was scooping out dirt and fake moss from the gigantic planters surrounding the indoor pool of which he refused to enter.

Normal. What does that even mean?Truthfully, it’s harder that his special needs are a bit more hidden because his behavior is what gives him away. That or the mother that is chasing, catching, or scooping him up all too often. The observation of our all too familiar antics is often followed by the vague question of his age. I’m trapped then, three is not a number of which you can hide behind and so, my answer is usually a number followed by the phrase “he has special needs.”

Please don’t try to make me feel better by telling me he looks normal. Don’t tell me that your son started a bit slow, but ended up perfectly fine. Don’t tell me those things. They hurt my heart and they tell me that my Amos isn’t good enough just the way he is and that’s simply not true. His life has been the most sincere truth I have ever witnessed, far beyond and better than normal any day.

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