10 Things Every Parent of Kids with Special Needs Should Hear

1) You are not alone.
There may not be anyone else with the same constellation of symptoms as your special needs child but there are people with similar challenges. Find those people.

2) You too deserve to be cared for.
We are placed in a position of caring for others nearly constantly. However, you still need and deserve to be cared for. That entails asking friends or family to bring a meal by every now and then, or going for a pedicure, or a date night, or whatever else you enjoy doing.

3) You aren’t perfect—and that’s ok!
No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. We can wallow in our goof-ups or move on! Try to shift your thinking, maybe there was a good reason you missed that appointment, that you were sure was on Tuesday but apparently was on Monday.

 

4) You are a superhero. 
You may not leap buildings in a single bound or run faster than a speeding bullet but you are a superhero none the less. Everyday, you manage situations that a regular parent would think are impossible. You stretch tight muscles, remember pills, inject and infuse medicine

5) Therapy is play.
Having sat in on several therapy sessions, I have been frustrated by what I thought was premature discharge from therapy on more than one occasion. Since then, I have grown, I have learned and I have come to understand. For children, therapy is play and play is therapy.

6) Play is therapy.
Yes this is different from number five. After discharge from therapy, we sought extra curricular activities for my son that would offer therapeutic benefits. He played sled hockey, runs on a track team, learned to shoot archery and takes swim lessons.

 

7) Make time to enjoy your kids
We super parents tend to be fairly busy and often over scheduled. However, while everything on your calendar is important, it’s also important to make time to play, laugh, be silly and just enjoy your kids. Read to them, snuggle with them, engage with them with what’s important in their worlds.

8) You will be obligated to make heart wrenching decisions.
You will have to make painful decisions that hurt your heart and leave you questioning everything you thought you knew or understood. Know that you are doing your best, remember number three.

9) You won’t always get it right.
Many of the choices you are forced to make have no right answer, just the lesser of the hard and painful wrong choices. You will do your best but you won’t always get it right no matter how many sleepless nights you spend agonizing over how to handle a situation.

10) Forgive yourself.
Yes, you will screw things up sometimes despite the very best of intentions. No amount of torturing yourself will make you feel better, nor will it help you to make better choices.

 

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