PARENTING A CHILD WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
One of the subjects I hope to write about, in addition to sharing helpful information, is the subject of parenting a child with special needs. I was an adoptive, foster mom. I also raised a child with cerebral palsy and another with ADHD. I too am ADHD, with extra hyperactivity (I’m sure my mother would agree) and have struggled with dyslexia my whole life. So, not only do I have experience working with these kids, I was one of these kids, and I understand on a personal level some of the struggles they face. Working with special needs kids has taught me so much and I want to share what I have learned. As a whole I am a much better person because of my precious children. Some of the issues that I want to address are:
1. Dealing with social rejection
2. Helping my children, who I viewed without limitations, survive in a world where their limitation are all others see
3. Guilt! Loving my child versus hating the disability (I can admit that now)
4. Fear! Am I doing the right thing? Making the best choice?
5. My mental and physical burn out
6. Isolation and loneliness
7. The importance of journaling, especially for women
I’ll start with these subjects, adding more as I go along. In the meantime, I’d like to share a passage my friend Molly wrote about autistic daughter, Fern.
“I promise my girl, during this month of autism awareness, that I will listen to her and her autistic brethren first and foremost. I understand that my knowledge on autism should come from first person accounts of adult autistic and most valuably, from her when she can communicate on the subject. I vow to respect her privacy when our world isn’t designed to support her needs—and it all becomes too much. I will spend my life making activities accessible and showing that we spread acceptance through love for each other and our unique diversity. I’ll love every ounce of Fern. [I highly recommend “Neuro Tribes,” by Silberman for greater autism awareness]”
—Molly Stinson West
Also, I’d like to introduce you to a wonderful blog written by author, Leslie Means. Leslie has great insight on difficult subjects such as grief, loss of a loved one and raising kids with special needs.