Recognizing Special Talents in Children With Special Needs

ZABS Place helps put young adults with special talents on path to careers.
ZABS Place
Volunteers at ZABS Place teach young adults with special needs skills to help put them on a career path of their choosing.

Is Every Child Really A Blessing?

To be honest, I have no idea. I’m not a parent. So why am I writing a post in a blog for parents with children with special needs? Here’s my story.

When I was barely 16 years old, I was studying abroad in Israel when what seemingly was an innocent nosebleed turned out to be the deadliest form of Leukemia called Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). Fast forward 12 years. I’m happily married, but instead of my wife in a hospital bed giving birth to a child, it’s me in that bed. And instead of a happy doctor, it’s a solemn-looking surgeon telling me that I have no hope for biological children.

My wife and I have been married for 12 years and are well into our 30s. I recognize the pity look people give me when I tell them I don’t have children. But why pity? Are children really a blessing? A necessity for a happy life? Aren’t parents always complaining how stressful their life is? Shouldn't parents be jealous of my freedom?

Deep down everyone knows that kids are worth it. With all the baggage they bring, the blessings are not too far behind. The smiles and snuggles, that first wobbly step, the sweet voice calling “mama” or “dada” and you know that it is you they are referring to.  All precious and priceless moments that add up to a lifetime of satisfaction and joy. But what about if the smiles don’t come that easily? The snuggles painful? The words slow and unclear? What about the dashed dreams of college and a perfect career? Well folks, I’m here to tell you that it’s with those special souls that the true blessing lies.

Finding the Special Talents in Children With Special Needs

My life happens to revolve around the world of individuals with special needs. My wife a I run an organization called ZABS Place, a thrift boutique where we train, employ, pay and eventually (still working on this one) place young adults with special "talents" on career path of their own interests and choosing. In other words, take a segment of society that has long been written off as the opposite of a blessing and show the world how they’re actually the greatest blessing of all. While so much of society is focused on following celebrity culture, peers on social media, and desperately trying to keep up with the Jones of the world, young adults that work at ZABS Place live for the sake of living, are truly genuine, and appreciate the small things in life. And you better believe they are talented.

So, take it from me, someone who can fly around the world without lining up a single babysitter, that yes, children are a blessing, and kids who have special needs are some of the biggest blessings of all.