What Every Parent of a Special Abilities Child Needs to Know..

The past two weeks, we’ve been reading trending news about bullying comments and parents with special abilities kids being bombarded with harsh comments that are heartless and cruel. Who doesnt know about the insensitive comments the actress and advocate “Youssra el Lozy” received on instagram, a user calling her “ the mother of the deaf girl “! I don’t need to explain how gracefully and respectfully she fired back and was an army for her girl and every other child and parent.

This got me thinking, how could that affect every other parent with a special abilities kid, how something so little and insignificant ( supposedly)  could crush a mom who’s entire world is revolving around her kid, or a father thats been investing all his resources in the sake of his dear son health and well being. This to every parent of a special abilities kids , this is everything you need to know and remind your self with on blue days like these, when you feel you cant carry those mountains any longer, and you’re too drained to move the world for your kid, remember, 

You are not alone. 

There may not be anyone else with the same needs as your child in your social circle but there are people with similar challenges. Find those people, they are your rock, a strong network within different diagnosis, you’ll find great friends, and a great deal of support. just pop into any of those facebook groups and you’ll be instantly reminded you’re not alone.  

You aren’t perfect—and that’s ok!

No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. We can wallow in our over thinking or move on! Try to shift your thinking, maybe there was a good reason you missed that appointment, Maybe your little one had a tough day at school and just needed the night off and skipped that therapy session. Who knows? But beating yourself up isn’t going to change the situation, so try to move on and believe you are doing your best every single day.

You will screw things up sometimes despite the very best of intentions. No amount of torturing yourself will make you feel better, Remember many of the toughest decisions have no right answer.

You are a superhero.  

You may not fly over skyscrapers of leap over buildings, but you are a super hero. Everyday, you manage situations that a regular parent would think are impossible. You tighten soft muscles, remember pills, infuse medicine. You hold hysterical children during invasive medical procedures. You deal with tantrums and melt downs. And most often manage not to have a tantrum or melt down yourself. You encourage your child to do things doctors told you they would never do but you never gave up hope. You are a therapist, nurse, doctor, friend and confidante. You are no regular parent. Remember that being a parent as you are is extra hard, Its also extra rewarding and makes us extra passionate. And will  make life extra interesting. With the challenges come the rewards.

Therapy is play and play is therapy

 Being on this journey with my son, I’ve sat through several therapy sessions, i have been depressed and frustrating with early discharge of comments like “he needs a different specialist, we cant work with him”. Since then, I have grown, I have learned and understood. For children, therapy is play and play is therapy. the best therapists find ways to make my son engage in challenging activities that he would have abandoned at first trial, by making it a game that he wanted to play.  even after discharge from therapy, you need to stay engaged in other activities that have other therapeutic benefits. We can play gymnastics, start swim lessons or even run with a track team, All of this is therapy. He’s learning, having fun and getting stronger. Win, win win! 


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. Make memories outside therapy rooms and doctors visits.

You will take 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. If you talk about those dilemmas with others who get it , it will help you trust yourself to make the best decision. Make it move on but remember, You will do your best but you won’t always get it right no matter how many sleepless nights you spend harrowing over how to handle a situation.

Don’t lose yourself. 

Don’t let being the parent of a special abilities child reshape your identity. We are many things, being the parent to a child with special needs is part of our identity and its a great shaping quality that will affect you. But it shouldn’t be all of our identity. Find things in your life you enjoy doing, a me time in your balcony, a hobby, shopping for yourself.

Rejoice the little victories.  

Brag  and talk and capture those accomplishments that might seem small to others but are huge for our kids! Our kids develop on their own pace, they learn many skills late and some they don’t master right away. A happy clap that didn’t happen before, a word, a sentence, a smile, a hug, whatever that gesture may be, share it with those who love you and your child.

Don’t let typical parents get you down. 

I know how hard it is to hear from parents that their child a year younger than yours is walking and yours isn’t. Or dealing with the stranger with good intentions who asks why your 2-year-old is still pointing rather than talking and using words. Try to remember that these people cant really picture that we are constantly embedded in those matters. Explain, teach, be patient, raise awareness amongst those who just don’t get it. And remember, typical parents bragging their child’s accomplishments who are their pride and joy s well is not meant as a knock to your amazing warrior <3 .

Don’t compare. Don’t, Don’t, and Don’t.  

This is another challenging one fellow mommies. All kids are different, typical, or with extra challenges and they will grow and develop at their own pace. If a milestone isn’t met as you think it should be, talk to your child’s doctor and be patient because its coming eventually. Comparing siblings, cousins, kids in the school, or even comparing kids within the same disability type never serves to make you feel better. Your child is unique, and will have their own strengths and challenges.

And finally, Always trust your instincts.

You know your children best. Doctors, teachers, therapists are all fantastic resources but if you don’t feel like you’re being heard, Don’t be afraid to fight for your child and their needs. While the professionals are experts in their areas, you are the expert on your child. you are his mind and voice, you are his Army…. 

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Early Intervention Practitioner, Special Abilities Advocate.
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