A special needs child

Having empathy helps us understand how a child with special needs works, but me having special needs was never something I equated in myself, because that part of my life was never afforded to me.

And although any parent dealing with a child who has special needs finds dealing with their child taxing, there are definite rewards having a special needs child. They show us a different understanding of our life and what’s important. It’s a world we must learn to embrace. There is no right or wrong, it’s more instinctive.

We must want to care and help our child meet their own needs. I think the biggest hurdle for any child with special needs is the outside world. The world isn’t always kind. A child with special needs, need us to be their advocate. We must be their voice in a world that’s already confusing, but even more so for what they deal with.

As parents, we become expert at knowing what that child needs. Qualities must include listening, empathy, patience and tolerance too. A child with special needs, relies on us to help and support them emotionally, even when they don’t always know what that is.

And in times where the help and support we give may seem futile, it’s never as futile as we think. It simply makes a difference to a good or a bad day. Children want to be loved unconditionally, above and beyond their other needs and no matter what their struggles are. That’s not just about special needs.

We must make time to play with children to want to make them feel special. From my own experience, never having emotional support that is what a child craves for the most. Just allowing me to know my diagnosis would have been a good place to start.


9 Dec, 2017

4 thoughts on “A special needs child

  1. Yes, taking care of a special needs child was something I found out that I was able to do instinctively, but her mother seemed to have a much harder time of it.

    I know that I did do well in the very beginning, but I ended up having my own demons to battle that got in the way for such a long time.

    You didn’t have the luxury of parents who at least acknowledged your condition, but I would imagine that there are some parents who lack the ability to relate to their child no matter what condition they have.

    It would have been great for you if they had been better able to understand your condition, in order to help you deal with it; but unfortunately that wasn’t the case.

    I’m one of the few people who can identify with your feelings, seeing as neither one of us got our needs met, by the very people who were supposed to take care of those things.

    My daughter is now 27 and it turns out that her mother wasn’t able to provide her with what she needed either, which I mistakenly believed that she could since she was the one who raised her.

    I’m now facing the task of having to teach her the life skills that I thought she had learned all along, while at the same time trying to learn a lot of them myself.

    Mentally we’re both right around the same levels, as in being mid teens, which does help in some ways, so the bond we share goes a lot deeper than the one with her mother and her.

    I can understand the need to protect her from the world, but there also happens to be so much out there that she could enjoy in spite of her condition.

    It only requires the ability to learn how to adapt and overcome, which neither one of you were taught how to do, which is one of the saddest things out of the whole situation.

    1. A parent with their own demons can be forgiven and from what you’ve said in some of your responses, you did struggle so it’s understandable.

      A special needs child is a special needs child. With your own issues to deal with you, you can be forgiven, but from what you’ve said also, your partner could have chosen to deal with your daughter differently.

      When we do something on a conscious level for our own gain and we know it’s for ourselves, then that’s not easily forgiven; if at all.

      Yes, your daughter had special needs around her Cerebral Palsy issues, but not incapacitated with it.

      Had her mother chosen to try to make her as independent as she was able to manage, your daughter would be living a different life now.

      As you say in your last paragraph Randy, ‘it only requires the ability to learn how to adapt and overcome.’ We both could have easily have had that.

  2. It’s incredibly difficult to have a child with a special needs, as it’s a 24/7 job, 365 days a year and we should all think a bit more about the realities of life for families with children who have special needs and to behave accordingly.

    Above all else, a special needs child needs love, but they aren’t all that fortunate as your case has shown. While things are slowly improving, we still live in a cruel world.

    1. Thank you, your last paragraph sums up your response beautifully. Whilst things are slowly improving, we’re not going far enough to help and find an acceptance on children with special needs.

      I do think though that times have changed and children with special needs are doing better. Sadly, in my case it was down to a parental issue.

      It takes a different thought process and perhaps we need to look at this in its entirety and continue to focus on children with special needs differently.

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