- 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.
- 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
- 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 Social life as she once knew it has been replaced by medical appointments, therapy appointment and IEP meetings.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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.