All Children Are Not Born Equal – Helping a Child’s Self Esteem

My parents were both lucky and very blessed. They had five very healthy children who were easily high achievers in grade school, high school, and college. It was probably a good thing for them too, because I was raised on a working dairy farm in mid-Michigan and my father worked two farms about 17 miles apart in order to provide for us and his aged parents. He would not have had the time or energy for a special needs child.

A Different Child

My husband and I were challenged differently. Our second son was ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). Our son worked with an occupational therapist starting when he was about 7 years old, spent time in the resource room all through elementary and high school and was held back a grade in elementary school. By being held back and now in the same classes as his younger brother it nearly destroyed his self esteem.

Medical Consultations

With little help from our family physician we embarked on a mission to find out exactly what the problem with his young lad was. We subjected him to extensive testing, including brain wave analysis, eye exams, ear exams and more. Finally we go to an allergist.

Finally an allergist determined that he had many allergies which had destroyed 20% of his lung capacity and made breathing difficult. As I watched them run the test on his back almost every test site showed inflammation, and it was crystal clear he was allergic to almost everything. Many times his eyes were swollen nearly shut from allergic reactions.

To top it all off, the worst part was the way his high school friends (?) would look at him as he walked slowly from class to class with his head hung down. Each day he would head off to the resource room and the other students would make fun of him by calling him names like “druggie.” This kid was in a spiral going downward, which had to be reversed if he was going to succeed in life.

Psychological Help

Needless to say he needed help in many areas, from many people and needed to reach deep within himself to go through what came next. And help he got. Allergy shots, professional counseling, tutoring from special people including his step father. He even chose to play football despite the recommendation from the doctors that he NOT play, But we went along with his wishes, and we nearly cried when another team mate slapped him on the back during a game. Nobody had ever done that to him before! After he graduated from high school, he even won a full scholarship to a community college to become an aviation mechanic!

The Photographer Mother

One of the contributing activities we did to help him was to take pictures of him when he looked really good or was involved in something he liked to do such as playing football. Now that he is a man, he rarely thinks about all of the problems that plagued him during his growing up years! This is further reinforced when I hand him a nice picture enlargement of his youth as a gift to take to his home and put in a nice leather album. A picture that was taken many years ago on a day that he looked like any other normal healthy kid so full of life!

Great Photos Can Help

All children have days when they look really good, but when you have a special needs child you have to pay more attention to photograph them on those particular days. Taking their photograph when they look great really helps them because it does a lot to make them feel like they are normal and look just like the other kids do!

On a trip we took to Paris with him my husband took our son and I up the hill by the Sacre Coeur du Basilique. He was having a great day, looked wonderful and we convinced him to stand beside me while my husband watched an artist craft a beautiful water color of the two of us.

That image hangs above our living room couch, and we often catch him sneeking a look at it when he thinks we don’t notice. If you can’t get to Paris, why not go the extra step, take a great photograph of your child, have that wonderful picture printed on canvas and hung in a place of honor.

It will work wonders.

About The Author

Betty A. Muscott is an accomplished child photographer from mid-Michigan. Her passion is to encourage young parents to get interested in photography, inspire them to take a lot of photographs of their children, and use those photographs to create custom photo gifts.

If they are young Betty encourages parents to enter pictures of their children in a free baby picture contest. You never know, they could win a college scholarship for the newest family addition!

Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

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About Arlene Martell

Arlene Martell is the publisher of and the author of Getting Adam Back – A Mother's triumph over Epilepsy and Autism. She resides in a seaside suburb on Vancouver BC Canada with her husband James and their four children Adam, Justin, Shelby and Victoria.