How has being the parent of a special needs child changed you? - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-05-2012, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I thought just for fun we could list some of the funny, humbling and life changing things we have encountered as parents of special needs children. It really occurred to me how my perspective has changed the other day when a friend of mine, who is not well versed in special needs, and I observed a child having a temper tantrum in public. I said "you know what that child needs?" and she replied "a spanking". Then I said "Oh, I was going to say a neuropsych evaluation".  LOL

 

Also I was trying to explain to another person, who is very concerned about her grand-daughter's development and her daughter-in-laws seeming lack of concern that sometimes it is like a grieving process coming to terms with your child's needs. The grand-baby is in physical therapy so the needs are not being neglected. From the description the mom is just having a hard time accepting the delays. The grandma doesn't quite understand how it could be a grieving process for the mom.

 

I have also learned how important it is to be a strong advocate. I had to undo some of the be a nice girl and compromise stuff I was taught as a child because sometimes you can't just be a nice girl hopmad.gif


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Old 09-05-2012, 12:22 PM
 
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  1. I had to learn a whole new language and cultural norms.
  2. I chose to "inflict" "elective" surgery on my daughter....twice!
  3. I now carry batteries in my pockets.
  4. I moved halfway across the country for a better school for her.
  5. I shake keys behind all new babies' heads to make sure they react  winky.gif
  6. I am back in school, headed for a new career!
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:08 PM
 
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I've learned to be humble.  I've learned not to judge other parents (except ones that outright abuse their children).  I've learned compassion.  I've learned to advocate for my child.  I've learned a level of patience I never thought I had.  I have learned that love does, in fact, conquer all.


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Old 09-05-2012, 05:18 PM
 
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I've learned to be humble.  I've learned not to judge other parents (except ones that outright abuse their children).  I've learned compassion.  I've learned to advocate for my child.  I've learned a level of patience I never thought I had.  I have learned that love does, in fact, conquer all.

Yes to all of this!  I think it has also made me a fiercer mother than I would have been if I hadn't had a child I needed to truly fight for. 


 
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:52 PM
 
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I've learned not to just take what a doctor or other expert says as correct. I've learned to advocate and do my own research.

Also I've realized how little control we really have over life. I see these families who are living in such a care free way and it pains me a bit sometimes. I wish I could do that. Maybe I wouldn't have anyway...I'm a bit high strung by nature I guess! But i wish I could have taken certain things for granted like parents without kids with special needs can do. I guess the flip side of that is I so appreciate the milestones.

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Old 09-05-2012, 08:34 PM
 
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I've learned not to just take what a doctor or other expert says as correct. I've learned to advocate and do my own research.
Also I've realized how little control we really have over life. I see these families who are living in such a care free way and it pains me a bit sometimes. I wish I could do that. Maybe I wouldn't have anyway...I'm a bit high strung by nature I guess! But i wish I could have taken certain things for granted like parents without kids with special needs can do. I guess the flip side of that is I so appreciate the milestones.

love.gif  Absolutely!


 
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:41 PM
 
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I love the posts already.

 

I've learned to let go of so much that I thought I needed to feel secure. I've made peace with the unknown. I've learned to accept what happens, and to look for the good in things rather than the negative. Oddly, after nearly 16 years of parenting an ASD child, I'm a much more positive, peaceful person.

 

I too, am a lot less judgmental of other people: parents, kids, and just random humans doing the best they can to go through their lives. I've learned compassion. I have no idea what anyone else is dealing with, and I know this.

 

I've also moved cross country for a better school.

 

I was totally one of those mothers who if *both* my kids had everything come easily to them would have thought it was because I was such a great mom. But now I know that how either of my kids is doing doesn't have much to do with me. I can love them and support them and do the best I know how, but I'm not writing the scripts for their lives. They are their own people with their own strengths and challenges, and that's OK.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 09-05-2012, 10:57 PM
 
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I have learned to never take anything for granted.

How to live life moment by moment.

How to smile through tears.

That statistics mean nothing.

That people can and will always surprise you.

Melanie- Mama to my super hero daughter superhero.gif bravely battling brain cancer. ribbongrey.gif ribbongold.gif  www.fightformaddie.com  and expecting 1sttri.gif 1/13!!!!

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Old 09-06-2012, 06:57 PM
 
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Oh, and I learned that sometimes babies die. I don't think I really understood that before my daughter was born.

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Old 09-06-2012, 07:01 PM
 
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Oh, and I learned that sometimes babies die. I don't think I really understood that before my daughter was born.

I think that is the hardest thing to have to learn.  hug2.gif


 
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Old 09-07-2012, 02:02 PM
 
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Many of the lessons that others have mentioned. 

 

I've swung from being quite judgmental to to opposite but then slipping when others appear to have it "easy". I remember this summer manning a gymnastics event with the baby on my back as usual, I was stressing about DD1's upcoming gymnastic meet that was across the state, how I was going to combine that with a trip to the Children's Hospital for DS1 that was in the same city, who was going to care for the other two kids while I was at the hospital with him, the never ending screaming baby on the drive up, did I have enough meds for DD2 who was staying with DH, did he know how to do all her medical care since I always bring her with me, etc... And the mom that was working the event with me kept talking about how much she didn't want to do the meet because she was going to have to drive up ALONE with her 12 year old, and it was going to be so lonely. I still think about that trip and how much I wanted more then anything to trade her. I would of enjoyed every single second of that "lonely" drive more then she ever could imagine. winky.gif


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Old 09-07-2012, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I could include everything listed here on my list as well!

 

Peony- I totally understand being annoyed with people who appear to have it so much easier. I try to stop myself from having that pity party but sometimes it's hard.
 


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Old 09-07-2012, 09:11 PM
 
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I've learned not to just take what a doctor or other expert says as correct. I've learned to advocate and do my own research.
Also I've realized how little control we really have over life. I see these families who are living in such a care free way and it pains me a bit sometimes. I wish I could do that. Maybe I wouldn't have anyway...I'm a bit high strung by nature I guess! But i wish I could have taken certain things for granted like parents without kids with special needs can do. I guess the flip side of that is I so appreciate the milestones.


My exact thoughts!!

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Old 09-07-2012, 11:48 PM
 
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I've learned to not judge other parents, to not stare at other children when they throw tantrums, I've learned to have more patience for my child & be a teacher/therapist/psychologist & nurse all at once. there is nothin i wouldn't do For my special needs child, my husband has to work even harder every day to be able to afford my son's therapies, I've also learned that my child is just like aNy other child, but just needs extra attention. & we love him no matter what!

Mommy to 1 beautiful girl & my handsome little boy
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:30 PM
 
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Wow, so many thoughtful responses!  It is interesting to see how each of us has changed dealing with often very different situations, yet can relate so completely with each other. It is a needed thing to think about especially when I look back at days that have been so hard in the past as we have struggled with behavior, appointments, school, home, and life in general.  Sometimes it is really hard to see past the moment at the amount of growth we experience as we parent our kids.

 

I have learned that...

*I am stronger than I thought.

*some styles of parenting work on most kids but don't work on all kids.

*I would do things I never thought I could if it is in the best interest of my kid.

*my kid has to work harder for many things (they just don't come easy) and he can do it.

*I can teach other kids how to treat kids who are different well.

*I can educate myself. 

*I can be an advocate for my kid, I can advocate for my students, I can help others learn to advocate for their kids.

*Every kid is different in some way, it is okay to be different. Sometimes those differences have a name that help people understand that kid's difference and sometimes they don't.

*I can be a team with dh and have a strong marriage; in the end we both want what is best for our kids and it has unified us to find it.

*I can smile and be honestly thankful because I am lucky enough to be raising truly unique kids.
 

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