Inside Gillette Blog

“They Tell Me ‘Can’t’ and I Hear ‘I Dare You’”

Posted On: 05/10/2012

Categories: Patient Stories

 “They Tell Me ‘Can’t’ and I Hear ‘I Dare You’”

What does Mother’s Day mean?  For many, it’s a thoughtful card, a bouquet of flowers, or a celebratory brunch. But for mothers of children with disabilities, it’s an opportunity to reflect on a one-of-a-kind parenting journey. It’s a journey fraught with challenges, to be sure—but more importantly, one filled with extraordinary rewards and small miracles.  As we share Mother’s Day stories in the days ahead, we invite you to share your own—and to sign our Pledge to Cure Pity at By signing, you’ll join our movement to show the world all that children with disabilities can achieve.

“Each day brings struggles but also laughter, smiles, and always miracles……always,” says Autumn, mother to 7-year-old Kevin, who was born with a severe form of spina bifida.  “In the early years, my life was filled with doctors while other moms were at Mommy & Me groups.  They were waiting for their baby’s first word, while I was waiting for mine to look me in the eye or sit up. These things came in time, and each was a miracle,” says Autumn.

Soon, Autumn discovered that Kevin had inherited her love of music and rhythm. “His first words were not spoken, they were sung. His love of music has opened a portion of his brain that should technically not be functioning. Am I proud?  Yes.  Am I surprised?  No. For everything he can’t do, look at what he can.”
Autumn says she doesn’t yet know what Kevin’s purpose in this world will be—but she knows how much he’s irrevocably changed her own world. “My role is filled with a clarity and purpose that most moms could only hope for,” she says. “Special needs moms aren’t rock stars, we are rocks.  People use the term ‘limitations’ and we hear ‘limitless’.  They tell me ‘can’t’ and I hear ‘I dare you.’”