When my son was born, I had no idea he had Down syndrome until they laid him on my chest. He was a bit floppy and was having difficulty breathing. Other than that, he looked like any typical newborn, with the face of someone who had been through a boxing match. As he was placed on my chest, a voice in my head said, "He has Down syndrome." Whether it was my years working with persons with special needs, my education, or both, my higher self clearly recognized the child before me. Remembering the prayers I'd made as I carried my son (health, beauty, wisdom"typical graces accorded Sleeping Beauty), I also asked God for a very evolved soul, and that's where I see that my request for my perfect child became a reality. The spiritual connection between a mother and a child with a disability runs deep. When a special child is born, becoming a mother is only one of the many roles that are now put upon her. In an instant, she is enrolled in "schools' of advocacy, therapies, medical terminology, and special education (to name a few). The fact that I was always drawn to work with persons with disabilities from the time I was elementary school was just part of that cosmic plan to prepare me for the precious gift I would eventually receive. It is a bond that had begun long before my child's first breath. Many mothers I have encountered in my work have expressed a similar "coincidence' of preparation, finding it truly ironic that they would have the exact training or education needed for the child they now care for. Their child becomes a promoter of patience, an educator of compassion, and giver of wisdom for their families, friends, and even those strangers that their child encounters. It is apparent that the spiritual relationship between the special child and parent is that of "guru and student'. In the physical world, it appears to be the other way around, but the invisible understanding is quite the opposite. You can ask any mom chosen for this unique role, and they will tell you the same. We are definitely the pupils! I once had a very insensitive person respond to my positive feelings - about loving my son just the way he is " with the comment, "Well, it's not like you have a choice now." But we always have a choice to place our children with others, give them up for adoption, simply abandon them through neglect, or to love them thoroughly and completely. Whatever the options, we choose to accept our unique roles, for we will always be the mothers of these special souls of light in a world that truly needs them, and we will forever be blessed by the experience.