I was talking about this on Facebook the other day but I wanted to go into more detail here. This is one of those topics that you are either going to agree with or not.
As a special needs parent, I believe very strongly in advocating for my children with Autism and other medical challenges.
I feel like it’s my responsibility to speak for my children, until such a time they can speak for themselves. I’ve been heavily criticized for this opinion but that hasn’t deterred me from going what I feel in my heart is right.
We have Autism Awareness month and world Autism Awareness Day. These are times when the world focuses on people with Autism and raising awareness. This is so incredibly important and I think it’s clear that we need more Autism Awareness. In fact, we need as much Autism Awareness as we can possibly get.
Having said that, I feel like there is a very critical piece of the puzzle missing.
At what point do we focus on the parents raising the children with special needs? I’m not talking recognition for recognition’s sake. What I talking about is raising awareness for the parents responsible for nurturing these very special but extremely challenging children into adulthood and beyond.
The reason I feel this is important is because part of what makes special needs parenting so challenging is a lack of understanding and support from those around us including family, friends, neighbors and employers.
We make it look so easy. We rarely complain or even ask for help because our children are our responsibility and we love them deeply.
Most people never get to see behind the curtain.
Speaking for myself only because I would never dream of speaking for you, Special Needs Parenting is hard. I mean, parenting in general is hard enough but when you have a child with Autism or other special needs, the challenge moves into its own zip code.
This is why I have chosen to share my family’s story the way that I do.
Not only am I trying to raise awareness for my kids hut also for parents like Lizze and myself. I’m not looking for a pat on the back, I don’t know that any special needs parent is.
What I’m trying to do is call attention to the challenges that many of us face, every single minute of every single day.
This is important because if we want the people in our lives to be supportive, they need to first be capable of being supportive but also have a good understanding of the challenges we face.
In order for them to even have a chance of understanding, we have to let them see these challenges for themselves.
This is why I wish we had a special needs parenting Awareness Month.
Not only would this help to increase awareness and understanding as far as the parenting side is concerned but at the same time, raise awareness for our children as well.
This is just my opinion. I would love to see employers more understanding, at least as much as possible, when it comes to the employees with special needs children.
What do you think?
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Sounds like a good idea to me. Many people are “aware” of some if the issues that children with special needs are faced with but fail to realize what the parents really go through.