Photo: Jeremy Bathan
You teach your child how to do a basic task like brush his teeth, wash his hair, or turn the light off as he leaves a room. Yet, he doesn't seem to get it. The task is either ignored or done improperly almost every time. You teach him to stop lying or being defiant over the simplest of issues, but he continues. Month after month and still there is little, if any, progress. Why?
There are several possibilities and we are learning about them. There can be anatomical problems in the brain that prohibit or frustrates learning. In our case, we have no idea with our adopted children what kind, if any, damage may have occurred due to in utero exposure to drugs or alcohol. If there was any, it appears to be very mild. Another possibility would be a learning disability or learning style issue. I put these together since their definition is often disputed or misapplied and identifying them is not always clear-cut. Then, there is also the matter of trust and selfishness. This leads to, and simultaneously feeds on, anxiety and obsessive/compulsive behavior.
I have spoken with several couples or hear of couples whose marriages are falling apart. It is common in our culture and even more so among families with special-needs children. They separate or get divorced and often point to the stresses of the special-needs as the source of their failing marriage.
I disagree. We cannot blame special-needs, finances, or "falling out of love" with our spouse for divorce. Here is why I say this...