A Special Needs Parent – What You Don’t See

I never planned to be a parent of a child who has special needs. Don’t get me wrong, I never thought anything negative about others, it just was not something that I thought would happen to our family. But when it did, I felt like the ground below us was trembling.

Each and every day is a new challenge. I don’t know if I will get a call or note from the school.  If my child will have a major melt down over something that I honestly had no control over. Sure our melt downs have changed over the years and aren’t as “big” as they were but trust me, when my child erupts they erupt and it doesn’t matter who is around. It makes for some fun family visits and trips to stores.

From the outside you might see a spoiled brat but if you only knew the struggle that my child faces on a  regular basis, those inner demons often fight to get out and many times they win.

A Special Needs Parent - What You Don't See

You often hear about moms, dads, caregivers, educators teaching or educating us on the various needs, disabilities and challenges kids and adults face. But have you ever read between the lines and heard what they are saying?


Each and everyday can be a struggle. From the many phone calls, forms to fill out, and melt downs they deal with, they start to burn out. Each and every day is spent helping others to understand and listen, so your child can be understood and accepted.

I am not understood.

I don’t know how many times I have tried to explain why I do things the way I do. Why we are involved with certain programs or why we often avoid large group gatherings. Explaining things over and over again and not being understood is exhausting. But we do it because we love our children.

I don’t fit in.

Many mommy groups get together, hang out and their kids grow up together. Me, I stopped going as I could no longer deal with the stares and comments. People never understood my choices. Because of my child not fitting the cookie cutter shape of “normal”, I just never really fit in.

I feel helpless.

I am a mom, I should be able to fix things. But each and every day I am met with the cold reality that I can not fix some things for my child. I can educate, I can support, I can love and I can appreciate all they have to offer, but I can’t fix it. We have embraced our child’s needs and love them no less…in fact I think I have learned to love them a little more. But I still wish I could fix every thing, and help make all those challenges disappear so they cold enjoy things a little more.

Each and everyday is a challenge and I will help my child face each and every one head on. I will be their cheer leader. I will be there sounding board. I will listen with an empathetic ear even when the words hurt my soul.  I will start each day with the hope that one more person will learn acceptance and choose love over hate or ignorance.

Was there ever a time you were understood with your parenting choices?



  1. Debbie S.

    April 18, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    It can be a totally different way of life for some special needs parents for sure. Yes a trip to the grocery store can be filled with rants and meltdowns, and usually when you least expect it. Everyone has opinions and advice and you can pick and choose what you are willing to try. But remember, you are your child’s parent and you know them better than anyone. Sending hugs and warm wishes.


      April 18, 2017 at 9:33 pm

      Such amazing supportive words, thank you xoxo

  2. Carl Bainbridge

    April 19, 2017 at 9:22 am

    unfortunately this is our reality. We will spend the rest of our lives dedicated to fighting for our children and doing the best we can to give them the best opportunity we can give them.

    This is the reality of the special needs parent.

    We are not fighting to hear ourselves speak, we are not on a power trip, we are nothing but parent’s wanting what our child needs to succeed in life. We are just parent’s wanting our children’s basic human rights and needs to be respected.


      April 20, 2017 at 9:28 pm

      This is exactly what I needed to hear tonight! Thank you for stopping by and sharing such powerful words:) xoxo

  3. kathy downey

    July 23, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Beautifully well said and you are so correct,most days can be a struggle.Buy unfortunately as Carl said above this is our reality.

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