Special Needs? No, Specially Made

My husband was recently talking to a neighbor about our recent move to the Sunshine State. He shared with our neighbor that while we miss Georgia, the move has been great. And it truly has. 

I am so grateful that God led us to our current home and blessed us with the means to own and maintain it. We are very close to restaurants and stores and Uber is readily available, which is great for the times when I get the itch to go somewhere alone! I have also found a wonderful small group of married Christian women that have become instant friends.

Well, it was during this conversation that our neighbor referred to me as his [my husband’s] wife with “special needs.” Special needs? I’ve never considered myself as “special needs.” I don’t even consider myself “disabled.” I may not be able to see well enough to drive or hear without hearing aids and I may have to do things differently, but I do not consider myself “special needs” or “disabled.”

This may come as a shock to some of you, but I love being Deaf…my blindness…well, let’s say I’m still working on embracing that part of my condition. But yes, I have no problems being Deaf. I can only recall one time when I was slightly frustrated with my hearing loss. Since I was raised orally, I depended largely on hearing aids and lipreading. For the most part, I had a happy childhood. But one day when I was about 8, I was frustrated with having to put on my hearing aids EVERY morning just to be able to hear and understand my parents and brothers. I wanted the freedom of waking up and automatically being able to communicate with ease.

Thankfully, that pity party didn’t last long. I remember sitting on the sofa confessing my frustration to my mom. She looked at me and said, “Putting on hearing aids is no different than having to put glasses on every morning.” I guess this was all I needed to hear because I remember going back to playing with my little brother. Ever since, I have not struggled with my deafness. In fact, I have embraced it as a beautiful gift from God, especially when it comes to vacuuming. I hate the sound of the vacuum cleaner. And sometimes, I just like to turn the world off and enjoy some peace and quiet.

I want to make it clear that I am not offended by this man. I truly do not believe that he meant “special needs” in a negative sense. I just choose to not label myself as such. Do I have a little more ways to go to completely embrace my blindness? For sure. Blindness is still a relatively new thing for me. It was only 5 years ago that I had to give up driving and some days I still grapple with that loss of freedom. Nonetheless, I am confident that God specially made me, and one way or another He will show His glory through me (John 9:1-3).

20 thoughts on “Special Needs? No, Specially Made

  1. Beautifully written! I too never view myself as a person with special needs or disability. I have accepted my hearing loss as a part of me. There are ups and downs to being hard of hearing certainly but I have too much to be happy and grateful for!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. VA! It’s Lynn Graham. I miss seeing you and talking with you at PACS. You have such a great message and I’m glad you’ve started this blog. You are such an inspiration Best of luck to you and your hubby at your new home!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t normally leave a comment on a blog. However, I can’t resist sharing my thought with you that people who inspire me are that they manifest the capacity to transform those negative words into positive words. You make it clear that you embrace your own identities and reject the notion of pointing at the person’s tangible or intangible disabilities. Nowadays, the idea of true independence is declining for all people as we live longer and crave more interdependence. Nicely written.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Did you just write about my childhood? Haha

    I feel the exact same way about my Deafness and loving it (cuz it’s the only thing that I’ve ever known) but slowly accepting the blindness. I think it’s harder because for me…nothing held me back from being just Deaf. Blindness however, has forced me to stop driving, or playing certain sports, etc. I just have to learn how to chose different adventures 🙂

    And I agree with Leslie… I too would turn my hearing aids off during vacuuming (and still do!). I usually vaccum in the morning now before I put them in. Haha!

    I am glad I have found another fellow Usher who is positive about life. Thank you for sharing !

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your comment! Yes, you said it perfectly. It’s easier to accept my deafness because, like with you, it never held me back from doing the things I love or anything really. Though I could not swim with hearing aids, I still went swimming with friends. Thank goodness for the super power of lip reading, haha!

      It’s great to have another friend with Usher so we can help and encourage each other grow to accept our blindness ❤️


  5. I really agree with turning off the hearing aids. Sometimes hearing aids can be a little bit bothersome for me because I can’t hear what people say, but then the ability to tune out noises is really nice. We get automatic ear plugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So well said!! I remember when one of my paratransit drivers dropped me off at a hotel for a conference and he surprised me by not only insisting on coming in with me but telling the person at the front desk that I was “handicapped”. While I cringed at his comment and typically take these types of situations as opportunities to educate people, I knew he truly meant no harm. He lived in a time when society found most of the outdated terminology acceptable. This was good reading. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I probably would have reacted the same way! I’ve learned that we need to be careful to not be so easily offended because I’ve found that the majority of the time people don’t know how we feel about our conditions. They just use there terms that hey are familiar with. And when a teachable moment comes up, we should educate our peers in a gentle and loving way. Being harsh with our words is not going to send the message we truly want, which is that we are pretty comfortable with who we are 🙂 Thank you for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Your blog is a delight and a learning experience. It does sort of hurt my feelings that your writing is so good without any help from me! Surely it must be my influence. I have some catching up to do (this is my first visit), but I look forward to following you.


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