Someone recently asked me, “does it ever get easier? ”
For me, this was probably one of the hardest questions I’ve ever had to answer. Being a parent to a child with special needs is a lifelong journey in which you share in struggles and challenges your child faces, but there are also moments those challenges transform into successes. I think this is why, often times, the journey is compared to like riding a roller coaster. It’s an emotional ride of ups and downs. It’s not like you set an age or stage in your child’s life and say, “Phew! We’ve made it through the last 12 years, my daughter is now 13 and all will be right with the world”. Parenting a special needs child is not so black and white. There are grey areas throughout the entire journey.
I will say this though, when you experience a triumph with your child; something that was once so difficult to begin, that you deeply felt it impossible to overcome, well….it is in that moment everything prior seems to evaporate. All of the fears and anxiety, the hardships and struggle, just disappears. You never forget the path that led you through the mountainous terrain, you just celebrate the achievement and perseverance that was achieved getting you through.
It’s important to remember the journey a family begins with a special needs child, begins with taking one step at a time. Each step you share will teach you something about one another. Each moment shared and hurdle overcome establishes a sense of hope and a drive to persevere. Don’t look at the journey as “getting easier”, look at it as a way to bring you closer to learn about your child, thus establishing a sense of ease because you are becoming more in tune with their needs, their strengths, and over all happiness.