Coping with the Challenges, Family Life

My Cousin

Home headphonesFourth of July fireworks came and went without any problems. If you remember in a previous post, I had shared the challenges we have with this holiday because of our son’s fears of the noise of the fireworks. This time, we came equipped with earplugs and headphones to make absolutely sure that the sounds would be muffled enough for Gabriel’s sensitive ears. I actually think he was looking forward to the show. As we watched in what has become our usual spot–the upstairs bedroom, next to the window–I even observed some excitement in his face.

classroomBut we were not alone this time. When we were heading up the stairs, I noticed my cousin looking up at us. This cousin, who I had not seen in almost 10 years, was visiting for a couple of weeks. She is a sophomore in college, and I had learned that night that she was thinking about majoring in Communication Disorders (aka Speech/Language Pathology). As with many students her age, she is still unsure about her major. She would love to work with children, but she doesn’t know if this is the right educational and career path for her. When she saw us going upstairs, she asked if I wanted her to come with us. At first I politely said “no”, not wanting her to miss out on watching the fireworks outside with the rest of the group. But I could tell she really wanted to spend time with Gabriel. And to my surprise, Gabriel, who usually doesn’t want any sudden changes to shake up his expectations, welcomed her presence.

It was really a sweet sight, seeing her talk with him and gently stroking his hair. Here is another person, who got to see just how special Gabriel is. And who knows? Perhaps in a few years, I will hear that this cousin of mine is a speech therapist at the local elementary school or working with children with autism. And I guess I’d like to think that Gabriel had a part in helping her. This world can certainly use another dedicated person to make an impact on this next generation of special children.


(Photo credit 1: Mulad)
(Photo credit 2: velkr0)

6 thoughts on “My Cousin”

  1. I have had the opportunity to work with some special needs kids using my therapy dogs and I was blown away about how much they can understand think and feel even when the individual was non verbal. We worked with those kids for three years through our church and I felt most blessed just to be in their presence.

    1. My son and others like him think and process the things in this world a little differently. I believe God will often use them to help us see things a little differently as well.

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