To Those of You That Just Don’t “Get It” and to the Those of you that Do:
Special needs parents wear so many hats! We also provide many services to our children that many people cannot fathom. And, we do it with remarkable skills we did not know we possessed, until we needed to stand and deliver for our child. Three cheers for those of us that completely comprehend this list!
Sometimes I feel like a:
Night Watchman – Late nights because our child does not sleep.
Gourmet Chef – Preparing Special Diets which may include several different meals for different family members.
Service Coordinator – Planning for a wide variety of therapists.
Chauffeur – How else would my child get to all those therapy appointments?
Fearless Advocate – Because our child deserves it!
Cheer Leader – We celebrate EVERY victory large or small. Believe us NOTHING is small.
We possess the following abilities or qualities:
Grace under fire (or not) when encountering annoying stares from others when out in public.
Gratitude for those that do “get it”.
Above and beyond nursing skills.
The patience of a Saint.
The bravery of a Warrior.
The heroics of an Army General.
The ability to persevere under excruciatingly difficult circumstances.
Last but not least, here are a few other things you should know. We gave up countless vacations, parties, social engagements and dinners because our child would be uncomfortable or we could not find adequate care. We love being social but not at the risk of our child’s safety or emotional well-being. We get tired of constantly advocating for our child, but we cannot rest until our voices are heard! Sometimes our faith is shaken, buried, hibernating but it always returns because every special needs parent is resilient!
So here’s to us, the Special Needs Parent! Hip Hip Horray! Hip Hip Horrray! Hip Hip Horray!
(Please feel free to add anything I may have forgotten.)