Ahead of Mother’s Day: One stay home mom and her special needs story (Part 2)

Hey glad you’re back in this special Mother’s Day stay home mom tribute!

Last week, my guest writer Sarah left us with a cliff-hanger – the outcome of the first formal intervention her eldest boy had.

Today, we continue from there with the rest of her testimony. (Also available in this podcast episode)

“How long before we see results?

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When we had our first intervention session, my eldest son’s educational psychologist shared several strategies for the key concerns we would be working on.

I vividly recall asking her amidst my tears: “So how long would it be before we see results?”

How typical! Me, the well-trained Singaporean who must know the timeline of when and what is to happen! Stemming from a need to be in control of an ROI (Return on Investment) before I take the plunge to pursue the time and labour-intensive process of intervention.

Our educational psychologist took a deep breath and looked me straight in the eye as she said in a clear and even manner, tempered with as much gentleness as she could muster: “There is no guarantee what we try will work. We just try. And we see.”

Right there and then I could only ask myself: “How could she of all people, in a clinical setting like this, say that?! Wasn’t she, the professional, supposed to know? And if she doesn’t, who does?”

It was much later when I was calmer that I told myself — no one really knows exactly what our children need all the time.

Or, for that matter, even what the next day brings.

“Though I’m a stay home mom, I had wanted to be a special needs educator

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Truth be told, I never thought I would end up being a stay home mom (For the record, I’ve been a stay home mom since 2007!). Since I was 22, I had wanted to be trained as a special needs educator, specialising in reading and literacy.

However, I never got to pursue that until I had my boys, both of whom struggled with language learning. The challenges I faced with my boys became the impetus for me to develop my knowledge and skills in educational therapy and support for various SEN (special educational needs) and learning disabilities.

When I was in one of the deepest ruts as a parent, I felt God leading me and my friends to start a support group for fellow parents called “DYStinctive” (for parents and caregivers of children and teens with either Dyspraxia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia and/or Dyslexia).

Through this grouping, I began to see the needs of others. More importantly, I stopped wallowing in my own misery and exhaustion. And I started to see opportunities popping up one by one.

For example, at the end of last year, an opportunity opened up for my eldest to join a mainstream school. I was not confident it was an ideal environment. However, through clear signs that spoke peace and assurance into my initial bias and doubts, my son was enrolled there.

About a month after he started, an opportunity in his school to join the co-curricular activity (CCA) of his dreams, came up. This was a gift, since the school initially told us he would not be able to as the CCA was popular and fully subscribed.

Even in the pedestrian details of trying to manage conflicting schedules of competing activities, opportunities and possibilities miraculously appeared. In ways I can only say are nothing short of divine intervention.

Don’t believe me? Let me share a recent example with you.

A scheduling wonder that’s nothing short of divine!

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A short while ago, a rare opportunity opened up for my boys to enrol in a sports programme organised by Active SG (a nation-wide initiative to promote active and healthy lifestyles among residents).

This programme was usually oversubscribed and so notoriously difficult to get into.

But in order to enrol my elder boy into the programme, he would need to forgo his CCA meetings. The day before the ActiveSG programme started, his CCA announced that they were restarting activities with a cycling expedition, thanks to the easing of Covid regulations.

My son and I had a discussion and he decided to honour the commitment to the ActiveSG classes and forgo the cycling expedition, even though he wanted very much to cycle with his pals.

Guess what? There was no ActiveSG lesson on the day of the cycling trip due to a planned competition! So, my son could attend the cycling trip after all without compromising on his commitment to the Active SG sports classes.

A little scheduling wonder that could only have happened by God’s grace.

A stay home mom’s ongoing journey

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So standing here, my 15th year as a stay home mom, I look back on my journey and my heart is full. In there you can now find a poignant mixture of awe, wonder, gratitude and humility.

Yes, I did struggle a lot with surrendering my will and my plans at first. And in many ways, I am still learning how to be a better “surrender-er” and “trust-er”.

In spite of my many failures as a parent.

In spite of my doubts and my missteps.

Still, none of those matter.

For the minutest details of my life and the lives of my children are in far greater and sturdier hands than mine could ever hope to be!

Promises this stay home mom clings to!

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In the Old Testament of the Bible lie two promises (among many) that have sustained me throughout these years.

One was from King Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3 verse 11:

God has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity into man’s heart, so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.

The other is found in the Book of Isaiah Chapter 40, also verse 11:

God will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.

I am so thankful God still deals with me patiently and helps me learn to trust Him with my life and plans, especially for my children. And He does so by giving me many reminders of His presence and His work in our lives. 

I have faith that the God who has shown such kindness to my family will doubtlessly show the same to yours, wherever you may be in your special needs journey.

If you’re keen to find out more about DYStinctive or drop Sarah a message, don’t hesitate to reach her here.

2 thoughts on “Ahead of Mother’s Day: One stay home mom and her special needs story (Part 2)

  1. Remarkable posting, Sarah. Your ongoing struggles are real, but the strength you have found and its Source are instructive for me. Thanks for pointing to light even in dark moments.

  2. Ayy! Great to see you branching off into new mediums. Am actually hearing you for the first time in the podcast, so that’s neat. Great work bringing awareness to a subjects that’s dear to you too. I must admit I didn’t really read this post as I did listening to the podcast, lol. So I’m sorry to Sarah 😛

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