For someone who has never raised a special needs child, it may be quite difficult to understand the day to day of a family raising a child with special needs. I get it.
I have had strangers and at times, people close to us, saying things like, “you poor thing” or “I feel sorry for you”. Those close to us, in some way probably thought they were exhibiting some sort of compassion, but it’s not compassionate to pity someone. I am going to share with you the same words I have shared with them, “I have so much love in my life. If you want to feel sorry for anyone, feel sorry for the individual whose life is not rich with love”.
Our situations are different, yes….but we are parents just like you. We love our children and provide for their needs just as you would for yours.
Just because you probably have moved on from the baby stage with your kids and I am still changing diapers and bottle feeding my four year old, and more than likely you don’t have to carry and lift your child as much as you did when they were babies or young toddlers. Your calendars are probably not peppered with doctors appointments or upcoming appointments for procedures or consults with specialists. The inside of your home probably doesn’t resemble that of a medical supplies store. You don’t use terminology like “spastic tone”, “AFO”, “g-tube”, or “motility” in your day to day conversations with those in your close circle.
This is our life and it’s somewhat different….
We have different “stuff”, but every family has their “stuff”.
We also have love, laughter, beauty, at times frustration, anxiety, fear, fun, excitement, and so much more that comes from being a family!
Please remember all of this, the next time you approach a parent to a child with special needs. Next time, give a smile and a friendly hello. We appreciate common courtesy the same as you.