Best Things About Being a Special Needs Parent

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Hi all!

It’s been about a month since my last post, but I didn’t realize it would be such an adjustment starting this semester of school. I guess I must have enjoyed Summer break too much. I do go to school full time to get a special education teaching degree, but my priority is always with my son, Elijah. He started back to school the same day (he goes to the special education pre-k program) and adjusted to going back even better than me! He really loves school and that seemed to make the transition smoother for him. Today, I wanted to focus on a more positive topic- which is why we, as special needs parents, have such an amazing job.

It’s interesting that I use the word “job” when it’s more like a full time way of living. But it’s just the more appropriate way of explaining it. I go to school online so that I can be a stay-at-home mom and I am sad that in a couple of years I will be going back to work. I know that working parents and stay-at-home parents both have an equal amount of challenges and yet we can find positives in both as well. Here are some of the best things about being a special needs parent:

  1. Learning Patience. Oh man, did I ever. Although we have some amazing, unique children, there are moments that can try anyone’s patience. Whether it be that you gave them an ice cream, they decided they no longer like ice cream and they threw it at you. Or they randomly start hitting you, hitting strangers, ripping up an important document… these are moments I’ve learned to compose myself prior to reacting. It was an important lesson. I’m forever grateful that I have gained this patience I never knew I had.
  2. We Learn New Things. I never knew a single bit of sign language prior to my son. And now I’ve started learning it so that I can teach him. He knows just as many signs as me now, and I constantly want to pick up new signs just to teach him.
  3. We Appreciate the Little Things. It was difficult to accept that my son would not develop along the same lines as other children his age. But once I stopped comparing him to other children, I was able to full appreciate what he can do. It was eye-opening. In the past 6 months my son has began to mimic some of the words we say, and when he began to do this with more and more words, we were overwhelmed with emotion. He’s not saying any words on his own, but we are in awe of the progress he is making. The day he says “I love you” on his own, I might just fall on the floor crying.

I could go on all day about the good that comes along with being a special needs parent. We live it every single minute of every single day, and sometimes it’s important for us to take the time to focus on the positive. I know the overwhelming feeling and heartbreak that comes along with this “job”, but look at what we get to do every day! Even when it seems like there are more bad days than good days, focus on what these amazing kids bring to your life.

-Mandi

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