7 Issues You Want To Know About Parenting A Particular Wants Baby | Nancy Musarra
Disabilities do not discriminate and parents of children with special needs know this better than anyone.
Any child can be born with or develop a medical or mental illness. Anyone’s child can be involved in an accident, creating lifelong challenges.
Parents are often surprised and shocked when told that a child has a chronic illness.
That shock and disbelief can be even more intense when a parent receives an unexpected phone call asking them to report to the emergency room after a terrible accident.
After the initial wave of overwhelming numbness, the parents have no choice but to “get together”. You need to take care of the unknown and figure out how best to help your child.
Here are 7 things you need to know about raising a special needs child.
1. Accepting the reality of your situation makes everything else possible.
The challenges of raising a special needs child can seem endless – tube feeding, prosthetic legs, medication, endless supervision, school meetings, and spending hours on the phone with insurance companies.
It is difficult to accept a number of these life changes and unknowns. The tasks are overwhelming. The demands seem to arise all at once. And it can be emotionally exhausting. You certainly won’t always feel productive and positive.
Can you handle it? You actually can. Allow yourself to experience these emotions. It is through this process that you will see how much inspiration you get from your child.
You will see your child’s courage, tenacity, and ability to thrive and thrive despite myriad obstacles. This energy is contagious.
Focus on positive energy and think about the “best possible results”.
2. You will learn a lot about yourself in this unknown way.
As the parent of a child with special needs, you will learn a lot about a particular diagnosis or condition that you may not have known about at first.
Researching and reading will fill your day as you familiarize yourself with medical terminology, medications, and treatment options. But most of all, you learn a lot about yourself.
You will learn the real meanings of listening, waiting, and resilience. You will learn what life is like from your child’s perspective.
This gives you the opportunity to discover personal strengths that you never knew you had. So take the time to listen to your child. They will tell you what they need and teach you what to know.
3. You will understand the “cans” and “cans”.
While celebrating the many things your kids can do is inspiring, the harsh reality of what they can’t achieve echoes loud and clear.
It can be heartbreaking to watch your child fall behind as other children learn skills quickly and almost automatically.
Know that skills your child may not be able to learn at first glance are likely to become the ones they will eventually master.
Everything is possible. Solidify in your head the idea that many of the skills that “can’t” are actually “can’t, can’t do”.
4. You will find that being alone is not the same as being alone.
Often times, being alone is associated with the exhaustion and disappointment of not knowing the answers to the medical and psychological questions you face every day.
Loneliness means believing that others cannot understand your everyday life. But that’s probably not true, and you are by no means alone.
You are now part of a strong group of strong and determined parents who learn from each other, understand each other, and relate to the insistence of the day without having to explain it.
Contact these parent and caregiver support groups. You get it. Even if you feel alone, you are not.
5. Listen to the sound of “we”.
Having a strong relationship with your partner is key to balancing the needs of your family as a whole. The challenges you face as a couple will encourage you to recognize each other’s strengths and vulnerabilities.
Even if you and your partner can handle challenges differently, you should know that you are at it together.
Keep a clear perspective. You and your partner are on one side of the table, on the same side and the challenges or situations on the other.
Approach each situation as a united front.
Subscribe to our newsletter.
Sign up for YourTango’s now Trending articles, above expert advice and personal horoscopes Delivered straight to your inbox every morning.
6. People will say or do shocking things about your child.
For those who have not yet interacted with a child with special needs, or even a child’s parent, there may be uncertainty or even fear about what to do or say.
Most caregivers and parents of special needs children understand the reasons for these concerns. They eagerly use every interaction between their child and others as a teaching moment.
People who behave insensitively do not necessarily act out of malice, but out of ignorance and clumsiness.
Other than that, some people are just plain mean. What they say about your child, even when your child is around, can even be shocking.
At first, you may not know what to do or say. But in time you will know how best to respond. Be confident that you will learn when to push back and when to let go.
7. Learn to accept the good and those who care.
Family members of children with special needs have a deep understanding of what it means to care for and love these great children.
They are the messengers who show their friends and countless others how to communicate and get to know our children.
They know that a child with special needs is like any other child except that they have additional needs. Those who know and hug your children do not see a “handicap”. Instead, they see the unique individuals that they are.
Your life will be enriched by this experience on all levels.
Now that you know what it means to be a parent of a special child, you can get the best outcome for your child.
You can also connect with a strong group of passionate parents and caregivers who understand the challenges and successes that arise on this unexpected journey.
More for you on YourTango:
Nancy Musarra Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist in Ohio, USA. She has the book “The New Normal; 7 things you should know if you are caring for and loving a child with special needs. ”For support, questions, or information about workshops, books, or first-aid training, visit their website.