So you say, “Yes, it’s just a day in the life of a special needs parent.” So what does that really mean? Is it fighting back tears, screaming at the top of your lungs, feeling alone, fighting with the school system, or any other experiences?
Whatever it may be, be thankful that you have those experiences regardless of how good or bad they may be.
As a parent of a special needs child, I have also had those same experiences.
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There have been tears (both happy and sad), there has been screaming (which just made the situation worse), there have been times of feeling alone (being there made me reflect on the situation and life and made me stronger), and there have been fights with the school system (picked my battles wisely-not all situations are worth fighting).
All of these experiences, no matter how big or small, has shaped me into the person I am today.
Just know regardless of what type of day you are experiencing, your child loves you.
It’s ok to be wrong, it’s ok to say “I don’t know,” and it’s ok to walk away. Life is messy and so is your world, but guess what…”It’s OK!”
In this life, know the word “typical” does not exist. Each day will look different. Some days transitions go well; other days they are a disaster. Just smile and know there is always tomorrow. Some days your special needs child will know and understand the material they learned in school, but on other days, they will not have a clue what they did in school.
Reinforce the idea that everything will be ok.
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Reteach and review as needed, but never give up. Know there is always tomorrow, and remember it’s only the basics they need to survive in this crazy world we call “life.”
The biggest and most important thing you can do in the life of your special needs child is to BELIEVE in them.
Let your child know know that you will never give up on them, and continue to push them to their maximum potential.
I truly believe a child with special needs will “live up to the potential” you, as the parent, set for them.
If you believe your child can, they will.
If you believe your child can’t, they won’t.
It’s more of mind over matter when living in the world of special needs. Yes, you will face challenges from adapting the environment to helping teachers adapt the curriculum, but whatever you do BELIEVE in your child. If you have high expectations, your son or daughter will live up to those expectations.
One of the most important things I have to remind myself of each day is that progress is progress no matter how small or large, slow or fast. Be proud you were given the special person you were given. Remember they need you to stay strong, believe in them, and be their voice when they don’t have one or don’t know what to say.
Please know regardless of what “A Day in the Life” looks like for you: you are wonderful, you are amazing, and you are awesome.
You are the best person for your child, and your child loves you unconditionally.