Can you believe 2016 is already coming to an end? Ok, some of you might be like is 2016 over yet! 2016 was filled many events throughout the world. 2016 Was a pretty exciting year around here as it was the year I launched this blog! It has been so encouraging to hear back from you on how various posts have encouraged you. I have also been encouraged by you in your responses and individual journeys.
I’ve compiled a list of my top 10 posts on special needs from 2016. I hope you’re encouraged by them, and share them with others who would be equally encouraged.
Whenever you are outside of the circumstances of a specific group of people there are always things you should and shouldn’t say. Special needs parents are no exception to this general rule. Simply put, things are often said out of ignorance. Many times people say things because they don’t know what to say. Things are also said without being thought through. This can cause some pretty bad foot-in-mouth moments. Unfortunately, things said out of ignorance can also lead bring heartache to the special needs parents…..
The first time bringing Ladybug trick-or-treating in her wheelchair, I was quite frankly appalled at the lack of respect others showed her. Honestly, I really wanted to yell at a few kids and then say a thing or two to their parents sitting back watching it all happen. Then there were the adults passing out candy. It made my heart sink to see their indifference to the fact that my child couldn’t meet them at their door….
Dear friends and family of my child with ADHD,
Life sure has a way of throwing us curve balls doesn’t it? If you haven’t already heard, the latest curve ball thrown at us was our child’s diagnosis of ADHD. I wanted to take a moment to address what this might mean for those of you who are directly involved in his life….
Special needs parenting is hard. I mean really hard. It’s difficult physically, emotionally, and mentally. I’m not going to take the time in this post to explain why it’s so hard. I just need you to believe me when I say that being a mom to a special needs child is a very difficult path to walk down. Not only is it difficult, but it never ends. Our children will always have special needs. They will never out grow special needs like all other children grow out of their different stages of dependency on their parents. We are forever parenting children that will be 100% dependent on others. There is no end in sight and it is draining.
Admittedly, special needs moms often do not have a lot of friends. Our schedules are very demanding between doctors appointments, procedures, and therapies. This is of course on top of all the normal demands of raising a family and managing a household. We also don’t have many friends because it’s difficult to find people who we can relate to. So if you are one of the very few who consider yourself to be a friend of a special needs parent, please know how much you are cherished…..
The need of respite for special needs parents is probably the most overlooked necessity we have. Yes there are many blessings that come from having a special needs child. But to be honest, it is a lot of work. Hard, never ending work that can suck you dry physically, mentally, and emotionally. I’m not going to lie or sugar coat it. In my opinion, this is the most difficult type of parenting a person can be faced with….
Sometimes it feels like the grieving cycle associated with parenting a special needs child never ends. Just when you feel like you’ve accepted your reality and settled into your “normal” something triggers those feelings of grief. Grief that your child may never walk, become potty trained, communicate, etc. We grieve the loss of a “normal” childhood, and the grief (selfish grief) that we may forever be parenting a child with the abilities of a toddler. We struggle with the reality that although God does have the ability to bring healing to our special needs child, He may choose not to….
I’ve had many conversations with other mothers lately about having their child evaluated for learning disabilities. I’m talking about the diagnosis like dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, and autism to name a few. What I am hearing over and over again is the fear of their child being “labeled”. I get it, you don’t want your child to be singled out. You don’t want to see your child treated any different than their peers. Well guess what, if there is a learning disability, the hard truth is they ARE different. But, you know what else? It’s not a label, it’s a diagnosis. Knowing will help your child, not hurt them…..
As children grow they go through various stages in their development. There are common milestones you expect children to reach in their early years. Each stage brings about different struggles for the child and in turn parenting the child. Often times mothers are encouraged by being told it’s just a stage. Teething, learning to roll over, sit up, walk, crawl, dress themselves, brush their teeth, feed themselves, wash their hands…everything they work through is a stage in their development. They will move past the current stage and on to the next…..
It’s so easy to become bogged down by the day to day routine. Focusing on the struggles of raising a child with special needs is easy to do, especially when there is no end in sight. It’s so important for us to also remember the blessings we have as a result of raising special needs children. With Thanksgiving season upon us. I wanted to share some of the things we need to remember to be thankful for as special needs parents…..
In a previous post I explained the grieving process that comes with learning your child has special needs. More often than I care to admit, I feel like it’s a process that has me going in circles. Every time I hear of accomplishments babies and toddlers are making in their development there is some effect on me. Sometimes it’s a simple thought going through my head thinking I hope Ladybug can do that some day too. Other times it feels like I’ve been kicked in the gut and it takes all I have to hold back tears. As I reflect back over the years of this special needs parenting journey, I’ve come to realize that after we grieve we can dream again…..
Praying God’s blessings on you as we say goodbye to 2016 and enter 2017!