I have come to realize that in most instances, people do not mean to say hurtful things; they just truly do not know. Parents with kids that "do it typically" may not understand because they don't have to. But for parents with atypical kids like me, we need and should be able to share special moments and still feel accepted. My son may never take an advanced class, he may never be on an All-Star travel team, BUT that does not make his efforts count less. Special-needs kids work hard, maybe harder in many ways.
There is NO "typical" day for special-needs families; every day is full of the unexpected! To help others know what it's like to raise special-needs kids, I wrote a list of things I wish my friends knew about me as a parent. Here are my honest thoughts.
Raising a child with a special need of any kind is a daily challenge and a gift. Everything is monumental when your special needs child does it. There is no such thing as a small accomplishment! As a parent, I continue to learn perspective, be more patient and kind, and appreciate little moments way more than I ever did.
Carissa Garabedian is a married mom of three children and two Shih Tzus who loves to cook and leave food on her friends' doorsteps. She is also the founder of KnowDifferent.net, a site focused on resources for special needs kids and families to create a sense of community. Follow her on Twitter @knowdifferent and on Facebook.
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