Things You Need To Know About Special Needs Moms

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  1. Special needs parents often feel blindsided. Perhaps it has been after months of anticipating a normal, healthy child, that one day she is told that something is wrong .  Something that we once thought could only happen to other people has just happened to us.
  2. Special needs moms rely heavily on their intuition. It is the special needs mom that spends hours standing guard by her child. It is the special needs mom who spends so much time caring for her child that she KNOWS when something is different; when something isn’t right. Maybe the special needs mom didn’t go to medical school; maybe she doesn’t hold a Ph.D in developmental psychology, but it is the special needs mom that knows her child better than anyone else
  3.  Special needs moms feel isolated. Special needs moms don’t have much time for lunch dates, shopping trips, or dinners out with friends. Social life as she once knew it has been replaced by medical appointments, therapy appointment and IEP meetings.  Parents of typically- developing children cannot possibly relate to  how drastically life changes for the special needs mom, nor would we want them to.  Special needs moms have a hard time remembering what normal life was like.
  4. Special Needs moms are exhausted. Because many of our children are so sick or so fragile, special needs moms don’t always get to sleep as we should.  Many special needs moms lie awake at night making sure that her child is still breathing, or re-positioning the child to prevent  bedsores from an inability to move.  She never realized before what a difference a good night’s sleep can make.
  5. Where Special Needs Mom Find Support. Special needs mom who find many of their friendships through online forums and support groups Special needs moms find support with other special needs moms who share stories about their NICU experiences, medications, feeding tubes, and asking for recommendations for doctors who are able to think outside the box.
  6. Special needs mom become doctors and therapists by default. Because it is necessary for a special needs mom to become a strong advocate  for her child, it is necessary for her to spend weeks, months even years educating herself about her child’s condition.  While it is the doctors who are medical experts, it is the special needs mother that is  the expert on her own child.

No matter how it happens that we become the mother of a child with a mental, physical or medical disability, the beginning is usually traumatic and heartbreaking.  While the road ahead of us appears daunting, somehow we manage to persevere.

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10 thoughts on “Things You Need To Know About Special Needs Moms

  1. Hello Diane. I know two mothers (both relatives) who have special need kids. Thank you for helping me understand what they’re going through. I’ve always known that their lives were harder than the rest of us but your list gave me a much better perspective.

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  2. This is extremely encouraging, and so true. I would also add that we try to be involved, but it’s hard. I have a very sweet group of friends that are completely understanding, and that helps so much! They constantly remind me that I don’t need to apologize for my son’s meltdowns, and that they love me and my son exactly as we are. 🙂

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  3. We have close friends who now have a 2-year-old special needs child and it’s been hard to watch them adapt, see how tired they are, and then for us to know what we can do to help and support when we really can’t know what it’s like. He’s really doing great now – and so are they – but posts like this are helpful insight for me – thanks!

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  4. Diane,
    I also am a Special needs mom. My almost 4 year old boy was diagnosed with severe Autism right after his 2nd birthday. I love this article because there were so many yes, and yes that’s me. Thanks for sharing. It’s always great to find other Special needs moms to relate to.

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