The others….

March 1, 2014 § 1 Comment

One thing I love about this blog is how many people have reached out and how many people finally don’t feel so all alone.

Parenting a special needs child can be isolating. Many of us don’t have other adult friends in our lives we can talk to about what it’s like or how hard it is. If you only have friends with typical children than chances are you don’t really share it ALL. You try but it’s just not the same – they just don’t truly get it.

I am blessed to have an online support community that is very active. I totally don’t feel isolated – thank God for Facebook! I also have several friends who have children with significant needs. They often say to me “see it’s because you get it” or they laugh with me over another stupid phone call from the school and we create our own inside jokes around that.

There are many parents though who still feel alone and isolated. I am obviously very open about our life and I find my openness gives others the freedom to also be open.

I haven’t always been this way, well at least not to the degree I am now. There was a time that I was unsure whether or not to tell people about my daughters diagnosis – I was afraid of their judgement. I was afraid of what they might say or how I would respond to their comments. I never wanted people to know at first because I was afraid they would see her as “less than.” But there was no way that would stick, not as she aged and truly has become the most outgoing person you will ever meet. There is no way to keep my daughter on a low profile – nope – trust me and if you know her your shaking your head giggling right now.

Ultimately I learned to embrace her difference. After all it’s what makes her sparkle so brightly. She is my teacher and now I follow her lead.

Teachers please realize how isolated the parents of students you are working with may feel. They also may feel fearful. Please help them learn that it is indeed their child differences that make them beautiful. Please help these parents connect to other parents if they are open to it because we don’t always find each other on our own.

Parents – reach out to each other, be open – you’ve got nothing to lose but isolation. We are out there waiting to be your friend –
the others.

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§ One Response to The others….

  • Olive davis says:

    You hit the nail on the head again, as usual. We have felt more and more isolated as our daughter got older. I’m not complaining but stating a fact. It is not easy but it is what it is. We embrace her differences and she has been our teacher. I remember a scrapbook she had years ago. Mom and daughter comparisons. One question was what did your daughter teach you? I answered, she taught me how to understand her by her gestures and her sounds and her expressions. She is nonverbal but she taught us how to listen without our ears, if that makes any sense. I totally understand “she is my teacher and now I follow her lead. Your friend is right. You do get it. Thanks for sharing .

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