I am writing this to all of you who are touched by special needs children.   You are the parents who we should all admire and look up to…

 

In times of conflict and doubt, it is hard to remember that you are only human…  Here are a few things you should keep in mind when you are going through tough times.

 

As a parent, you do the best you can in the moment in time and in the situation you have found yourself to be in…

 

Don’t look back and don’t use the word “should” or “could”…  take the experience for what it’s worth and learn from it or use it to find a better way but never use the words “should” or “could” to describe that situation in time in that moment where you as a parent responded in the best way possible at that time.

 

Do what you feel is best for you and your family. 

 This includes setting up yourself, your children, and your family to be successful…

Ignore all the family members, grandmothers, aunts, and whomever else feels they know what’s best for you and your family…  They know not what you are going through and they have no idea what it’s like to have a child who is different.

 

You  have permission to go against family norms and expectations and do what needs to be done to keep everyone under control…

You do not have to give in to family pressures when you know they will not help you set your family up for success…

 

 

You have permission to say no when you feel no is the best possible response.

 

Discipline…

Do Discipline… All children regardless of their special needs or lack of special needs desire boundaries….

 

Boundaries make them feel protected… secure… and loved…

 

Attend to the special needs of your children and at the same time treat them as they are typically developing…

Teach them to believe that they can do whatever they feel they want to do… Their specials needs do not and cannot hold them back from anything…

 The only way to get this across is to teach them to be independent rather than helpless…

 

Don’t feel guilty or sad for your child…  Understand that every child is a blessing… Special needs children have a place in this world and they are here to teach us about life…

 

Don’t explain yourself or give explanations for your children…  Just do what you have to do and give the least amount of information needed for people to see and understand differences… but don’t explain or give excuses…

They are who they are and we love each other for who we are…

 

Teach people about your situation… Education is key…  Education overcomes fear, discrimination, confusion, irrational thinking, and more…

 

Education creates harmony, peace, and understanding…

 

As parents, stand united…. a united front is stronger and creates balance in your family and for those looking into your family it gives them a sense that things are under control…

 

Ask for help…. don’t be afraid to ask for help… don’t be afraid to have a sit down meeting and say this is what you can do for us or this is what we need from you…

You will be surprised at the number of people or family members who will be willing to help without hesistation…

 

Don’t let fear keep you from accessing all the resources and people who are there to support you in your times of struggles… there will be struggles at different times in your life… don’t try to stop the struggles or go against the tide… just let go and move with the tide… this will make things feel less like a challenge…

 

Take advantage of counselors, professionals, and other families who have been there, done that, or are there right now…

Only other families of children with special needs can relate to you and the difficulties you face…

Join support groups, meet other families of special needs children…

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