What has special needs parenting taught you?

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I’ve been a special needs parent for over a decade now.  One of the things I have learned along the way is that I don‘t everything.  In fact, I know just enough to know that I still have a lot to learn.

Having said that,  I think one of the most valuable lessons that I have learned along the way has been a real eye opener for me.

I learned very early on, that I should never, never take anything for granted.

Things can change in the blink of an eye and you can find yourself desperately missing what you didn’t know you had. 

That’s one of the reasons I reach out beyond just the special needs community.  I feel that even the “typical”  families can learn from our experiences.  Far to many people take the things in their life for granted.  Sometimes they fail to see how truly blessed they are.

I think it’s so interesting to learn how this journey, while sharing the same destination, can take so many different directions along the way. 

Anyway,  I was wondering if there was something that you learned along the way?  Maybe something has stuck with you and helped you along the way. 

Please join the discussion in the comments below.  🙂

Rob Gorski

Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
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i have learned to never take for granted what i can do. my five year old son has cerebral palsy and adhd. he can walk some what and can talk. he cant walk up or down stairs and may never do so with out help.he didn’t walk till he was three and he has no father or should i say a father who doesn’t care. i commend any father or mother of special needs children.my son is my angle. i am going to college to be a nurse and he is what drives me. hes my personal “god’s will”. I’ve learned patience’s and understanding. yes some days i want to pull my hair out but i know that i am being the best i can be.it’s hard when your child ask you mommy why cant i run why cant i play or walk like there friends.why doesn’t my daddy love me is it because i’m not normal. its heartbreaking at times and a tremendous  joy at other’s when your kid walks for the first time any milestone no matter how big or small. those moments we cherish forever. every hug kiss and smile. those moments are golden. my brother who died at 17 had a vast amount of disabilities. my mother was told he wouldn’t live to be 1 year then 2 and so forth he proved them wrong. children with disabilities may have a hard life but they are the strongest of people and children i know. i know they are angles from heaven. and god granted me with an angle who has taught me what life is all about he made me strong and Independent he made me a better person. no longer do i take for granted what i do have i accept what he can and cant do with an open heart and mind i know that one day he will and even if he doesn’t i will be there for him every step of the way. i am a mother a father a therapist a cook  and anything he needs me to be. i am a hero to my child and he is my hero.


I've learned that nothing is like you think it is until you have lived it, also that parents know their children best (and I mean that in a real way, and not in the patronizing way you hear from so many that tell you that you know best right before they tell you that they are the ones who will make the decision without you).


I've learned to have a lot of compassion and to change the way I view things. I used to feel upset my son couldn't go to a charter school or play sports like the other kids. I realized I was not doing him any favors by not accepting him the way he was. I have learned not to judge others as much and give individuals the benefit of the doubt, more often.
I am ashamed to admit when I was a kid my friends and siblings and I used to make fun of those with special needs- not directly in front of any particular special needs individuals, but just them as a group. We used to make fun of special olympics, too. Now I look back and regret it deeply. My son has autism and is in special olympics sports and I thank God for it every time we go to practice. It's the only way he could ever be a part of a sports team and enjoy it. Funny how that works. It's karma. But I would not change a thing about my son or our lives. He has changed me and the way I think for the better.


@tarasview @Lost_and_Tired I've learned patience…endless amounts of patience that I didn't know I had in me!


You said it best "I know just enough to know that I still have a lot to learn." I think probably to listen to your child. Even when they are not verbal maybe especially when they are not verbal. They often are telling you what they need from you in every way they can.


@LorcaDamon @reality_autism That list is far too long for a tweet or even a FB post 🙂


@Safireblade @reality_autism I know, right? I can sum it up: expect the unexpected and there are no answers. Done!


@LorcaDamon @Safireblade well put 🙂


@LorcaDamon @reality_autism precisely!


I have learned so so many things, so I will list just a couple:
I have learned that I should never ever judge a family from the outside looking in, that the child that comes up to me in the mall and demands my attention is not necessarily neglected or starved for attention- because my kid does that- he has aspergers
I have learned that life is never what you think it will be, and that the things that devastated you a year ago really can become the norm.
I have learned that I can be happy while raising kids on the spectrum (I didn't believe this a year ago when they were diagnosed)- as long as they are happy, and we are working toward our goals, I am happy
I have learned that there are EXTRAORDINARY people out there who are dealing with way more than I am- you guys are among them 🙂 God bless you, Jenny http://www.jackandnatesmom.blogspot.com