4 Things That Changed When I Became a Special Needs Parent

CAMPING WALKTHROUGHS NO. 6

If you have been following for the past month or so, you know about my daughter’s diagnosis of Mild Cerebral Palsy. She is now 3 and the happiest little girl I have ever met. Every person that meets her cannot help but fall in love with her bubbly personality and beautiful little smile. When we got the news of her diagnosis, our hearts broke for her. It was very difficult to swallow the news that Abigail has this disorder. Now about 2 months after accepting that I am a parent of a special needs child, I have noticed a few changes in myself.

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1. I became more grateful.

I started to realize how fortunate I am to have a healthy and happy daughter. As I walk through the halls at the pediatric hospital that Abigail attends therapy at, I pass so many children who will never be able to walk, talk, or even make it to their next birthday. I am thankful that I am able to carry my daughter around every day, even when it is exhausting, because there are so many parents out there that can not.

2. I started to appreciate the little things.

I stopped thinking about all of the things that Abigail couldn’t do. I started looking at all of the things that Abigail is able to do. She is able to communicate and is learning more and more speech every day. She is able to move, she is able to crawl, she is able to use her Kaye walker to get around our home and the store. She is in therapy weekly, working closer and closer to her goals.

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3. I became more patient and positive.

I stopped getting frustrated when Abigail was unable to do a task. It is not that Abigail did not want to do the task, it was that she is physically unable and that is not her fault at all. I slowed down, I gave her the extra help that she needed and I was there to praise every little thing that she accomplishes!

4. I stopped comparing.

For almost 2 years, it was impossible not to see children the same age or younger then Abigail meeting milestones before she did. I was always looking at other families stories of how late their child walked or talked. It was a horrible feeling. I needed to stop comparing and just focus on her. She is moving at her own pace and that is okay. I stumbled across the quote “Your speed does not matter, forward is forward” and that is something that I now live by.

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I feel like all of these changes only made me a better parent.

Abigail’s diagnosis only made me love her more.

 

Thank you for reading

-Emily

 

17 Replies to “4 Things That Changed When I Became a Special Needs Parent”

  1. I think a lot of parents should take note from your list as we all can do these things – especially the comparing part. I know it is hard, but we all parent different as our kids are all different so there is no reason to compare.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing your experience! I love the sentiments you shared and i think they are good reminders for us All! My favorite is forward is forward, we all reach our goals in our own way !

    Like

  3. This is a fantastic post. As a physician, I see many special needs patients and understand that my treatments also need to be tailored to a different time table. Your last statement is correct and I will intend to use it frequently: Speed does not matter, forward is forward. Awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is such a moving post. It is so hard not to compare children in general, I can’t even imagine what you must have been going through. I am so glad that your little one is progressing! =)

    Like

  5. Dr. J You raise some great points, GWW. Props to you for laying out so much awkward (and horrifying) evidence. And to both you and Dean for braving the te.stpemProps to you too, Roro, for staying engaged in a debate you find deeply offensive. I can’t go quite as far as Dean and agree feminism is hate-driven. But if it’s not, as Roro maintains, what *is* it driven by? It’s hard to sustain the claim that it’s about gender equality, when feminists are so demonstrably focused on only one side of the ledger.

    Like

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