Knowing that your unborn is a special child or finding out later on, as many special needs may not be so obvious, can have mixed emotions for the families concerned. Because no parent expects nor wants their child to be sick or disabled; it is a journey that is unplanned.
Certain chromosomal differences like Down’s syndrome can be detected prenatally while other developmental disabilities can be predicted based on the parents’ genetic history and earlier children. “Special needs” may refer to visual or hearing impairment, cognitive or learning disabilities that are harder to spot from the outside, but which affect the child’s ability to process language, remember things they have learned, and socialize appropriately. These may include ADHD, autism, cerebral palsy, seizures, and developmental delays.
Parenting a special child can be a struggle but can also be incredibly emotionally satisfying. As a parent, helping a child navigate through life’s many difficulties is certainly worth the effort. It can be so much more rewarding in a world that is so severe and intolerant of people with seeming differences. Everything is monumental when your special child does it- it is a great accomplishment.
Parents may experience feelings of anger, confusion, shock, denial, grief, guilt, regret and sadness. These feelings may be intense and overwhelming and at the same time also normal and it may take time for families to accept the fact and also find the strength and stability to adapt to, learn about and handle the stress and trials that may accompany their child’s disease or infirmity. Parents with atypical children gradually learn to let go off ideals that surround them and share their child’s special moments and still feel accepted.
Parents of a special needs child can provide the best care possible by learning everything about their child’s particular condition and actively work to understand them. They try to ease out their child’s inability of sorts and make sure their kid never feels retarded or cornered. They provide the best facilities to their child, the best clothes to wear, the best room of the house having the most comfortable bed having the queen mattress in order to make them feel privileged.
Special needs children can become emotionally distressed and confused at the thought of being different from their peers. Having supportive parents and a friend group is really important for an atypical child. Parents with special needs children are often the best resource and can support each other emotionally and socially. There are groups that draw parents with similar concerns together for e.g. in coping with daycare, transportation, finding out and supporting special education in the community. Such groups also offer emotional and practical support to combat feelings of isolation, confusion and stress.
Special needs parents usually feel isolated as there is no typical day, every day is full of the unexpected, their children may act strangely in public or ask awkward questions and people may peer disapprovingly at this unusual behavior. While this can be unpleasant, being judged can be intolerable. Autistic children can often act weirdly when anxious which can be interpreted by other parents as misbehavior.
Sometimes making a medical decision with a special needs child can be challenging but you need to keep all the facts in mind, be confident about your decision and move forward. Never look back.
As a parent of a special needs child, I would like to talk about my child and would love to share about the things he does, some good, some bad and want you to talk to your child about mine. In short, I want to feel accepted and included and still want to have fun. Thus, I am special because I have a special child!