Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Parenting Pointers: Parenting a Special Needs Child (Author Interview)

Her first son, born 25 years ago, was diagnosed with developmental and learning disabilities as a toddler. Her book aims to help parents who find themselves with unexpected parenting curveballs in parenting a special needs child, and how to have a greater perspective.

I had a chance to interview her to learn more.

What inspired you to write the book?
Having kids first out of all my friends, I really didn't have anyone to talk to about this rollercoaster ride. And then when you add in a child with developmental problems, that was a whole lot different. I wanted to show Moms that it is oaky to be real and unfiltered - embrace all the mistakes you will make. The truth is there is no "perfect" Pinterest or Instagram mom. And most of all be grateful!

What surprised you most about parenting a special-needs child?
The biggest surprise I got from raising a child with special needs is all the laughter we experienced as a family!  There was no woe is me attitude at all. Life throws you curveballs and you just pick yourself up and get on with it. My sister used to say that I never batted an eyelash when another medical issue came up. She said I defined what "warrior" mom really was. My thought was always that my son was a gift. My mother said to me once that raising a "normal"child was easy, but raising one that was different was extraordinary.

What is something you think would surprise other people?
The one thing that would surprise people is I have an identical twin sister. I had the morning sickness for all 3 of her kids and she didn't.  I knew she was pregnant before she did. Weird, right?

How can families support parents with a special-needs child?
Support parents with a special-needs child by just including them. Don't pity them! That is the worst. These are the cards dealt to us and we do not look for pity. Just listen to them when they need someone. And most of all do not judge them if they vent about their child. We just need that safe place to vent or we could go crazy.

Where are some good places for parents of special-needs children to find support?
Parents of special- needs kid can find support at their school or through groups in their town. You are never alone and should research. Where I live there was a great program called the Daisy program. There was trips and classes and activities the children could get involved in - even on Saturdays.

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