Tuesday, September 08, 2009
What I've Learned
I wanted to share some wisdom, some things that I've learned in the past two years since Cara's diagnosis. These things I've learned as I walk down the road of being a parent to a child with special needs--
**always wonder if you are doing enough for your child and second-guess yourself. Would that test have made a difference? Should we have gone with that doctor?
**be your child's biggest advocate and cheerleader.
**appreciate the small stuff. Every little thing that your child learns to do will seem Earth-scattering. You will also feel guilty for not thinking that your older child's milestones were as important. You will celebrate each of these accomplishments with pomp and circumstance.
**redefine normal. Your special needs child will have their own definition of what is normal and you will embrace it.
**discover a new meaning to unconditional love. Your child will remind you daily of what this means.
**learn new ways of seeing things through the eyes of your special needs child.
**live in constant fear of the unknown, of your child getting sick.
**learn that no one knows a child like its parents and you will learn to trust your instincts.
**it does take a village to raise a child and that it is even more crucial when raising a child with special needs. You need a very special team of people to help care for your child and help him or her reach her potential. Your team will be made up of people that you never thought you'd have the privilege of sharing your parenting journey with but now can't imagine not having by your side.
**be prepared to learn a whole new language called medical jargon and to become almost an expert on your child (all his or her diagnosis or conditions). You will be throwing out medical terminology without even thinking and expecting others to know what you're talking about.
**discover every child is unique and that what works for one child doesn't necessarily work for another. This means that you will learn not to compare your child to others and that you will get creative with how you teach things to your special needs child.
**get frustrated, no matter how patient you are or how much you love your child. When we can't control something, we tend to get frustrated, it's natural and it's okay!
**learn so much more than you ever imagined you could from someone so young.
**feel your heart swell with a love like no other.