Monday, February 10, 2014

10 Things you can do for Special Needs Parents..

 Most of us have been on the receiving end the negative comments and stares by the general public.  We have heard pretty much everything that has been put out there. Every judgmental statement, rude comment and impolite stare.

 So what can you do for a special needs parent?

1) Every child is special, regardless on what is going on with them. Recognize that. Point out that a parent has a wonderful child. It means so much to us, as Special Needs Parents, for someone to see past the obvious. We are aware that our child experiences the world differently. But we are more touched when people see past that.

2) When you see us struggling, sometimes a comforting look of understanding, or a "Hey, Hang in there" can go along way. Most times the general public sees the absolute worst, when we are trying to get through our daily errands, we don't always have that option of leaving the kids home. Most of us are hanging on by a thread.

3)When you are informed that our child is indeed, special needs it isn't sympathy that we need. Having a child that is special needs isn't a life sentence. It just the way things are. We have our ups and downs just like you do.

4)Keep your ignorance in check. Sometimes its very hard to see the difference between ignorance and just not knowing. When we state there is special needs, ask us questions. Most of us are more than happy to set the record straight. If it promotes that spark of educating oneself on something, then Awesome!

5) Ask if there is anything you can do to help. Like anyone, if you see a person struggling, ofter to help. 9 times out of 10 the person will be so appreciative.

6)Lend us your ear. Like anything that has to do with parenting, it can be stressful. Again we have our good days and bad. Sometimes we just need to have a person that is willing to let us rant and vent.

7) Be patient with us. That is hard to ask when this world is such a fast pace place. We are trying. We are trying to do our best with child who experiences the world differently. Something that doesn't necessarily effect you, is magnified for them.

8) Be Kind. Kindness goes along way. Opening the door for someone, helping someone in the parking lot or even paying for a cup of coffee for someone who looks like they could use a pick me up. Or without stating the obvious, tell someone one they have a beautiful child or family.

9) Let us know that you care and that its ok to have days where life feels upside down.

10) Accept Us. Don't judge us. We may do things a little differently than what the parenting books out there are saying. But we are on our own journey with our children. Just as you are on your journey with yours.

We all live on this planet together. We all experience life differently from each other. I am not saying that what I wrote is gospel, but it would appreciated if there was a little understanding for the shoes that we walk in.