I don’t know if I have a special needs child. I don’t seem to, at this time. But you can’t be certain. The child in this story was diagnosed with major brain issues at age two.
Anyway, it doesn’t matter for the purposes of this piece. I was profoundly impacted by this beautiful, honest article on The Unexpected Life of Being A Parent with a Special Needs Child. I highly recommend that every parent read it. It will bring you so much empathy. It will make you cry.
Here’s a short excerpt:
I accompanied [my elementary school aged daughter] to spa, dance, and yoga parties, and exhausted myself striking a balance between keeping her out of trouble and giving her the freedom to play with the other girls. I would come home drained and depressed. My daughter didn’t fit in this world. I knew it, and so did she…
My life with Lizzy is not the one my husband or I ever expected. I’m not the mom I expected to be either. But it has been a tremendous learning experience, and I’ve changed a lot in the process.
The article was posted on the website of Seleni.org, an exceptional non-profit based in New York that offers mental health support for women, especially mothers. Check them out.