special needs mom

‘At least he doesn’t…’ As a special needs parent, I hear this all the time. Each one takes a little slice out of me I can’t fill back in.’: Special needs mom urges you to ‘validate’ those who ‘give you a glimpse of their challenges’

“I don’t let very many people into our lives, mostly because I’m spent. And one of the reasons is because of things like ‘at least.’ When you ‘at least’ me as a complex parent, I feel minimized. I feel unheard. I feel compared. If a person gives you a glimpse of their challenges, honor their experience. Validate them. Meet them where they are. And if you can’t think of anything else to say, ‘Can I get you coffee or tea?’ always works.”

‘Beth, there’s police at your house. Are you ok?’ I found my son handcuffed to a hospital bed, drugged.’: Mom advocates for son with severe autism, PANDAS, ‘Don’t ever give up on your child’

“I locked my daughter in her room. ‘He’s gonna get me. Mama, save me.’ He bit my arms, hands, and chest, drawing blood with each bite. I begged him to stop. It was too late. He was not him. I fell beside the couch. I felt like a battered wife, except it was my child. My child who, after a rage, would cry and kiss me, looking at me with big, sad eyes, begging me to ‘fix it.’ I wasn’t mad at him. I was completely broken.”

‘I don’t want this life. I’m not cut out for this!’ I heard ‘I’m sorry’ on the other end. Adrenaline began, my face got hot. Then the tears started to roll.’: Boy with down syndrome diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia

“Oliver was on vacation with his dad when I got the call. ‘He stopped walking.’ Weeks pass. His lymph nodes are swollen. Something just wasn’t right. I remember telling my boss, ‘I have to leave!’ Before I could even get a response, I was gone. I’m worried the ER doctor missed something. The doctor is quiet. I can see in her eyes she is trying to stay calm for me, but something is there. I scream. Deep down, she knows something I don’t.”

‘I’m having a hard time finding the baby’s head,’ the doctor said. ‘Were you bit by a mosquito during pregnancy?’: Mom births miracle baby with microcephaly, ‘He brings us endless joy!’

“I went for my routine check-up with my OB. The vibe of the room felt off. My doctor asked, ‘Have you been out of the country while pregnant?’ So many questions went through my head all at once. Is my baby alive? Is he okay? How’s his head? How many fingers and toes does he have? I was already in love with him, but so scared. And then I felt it. ‘This baby isn’t going anywhere.'”

‘My son makes fun of the autistic boy in his class and it’s hilarious!’ You could hear a pin drop. We stopped our giggling, and turned to her.’: Mom of son with autism raises awareness about adult bullying

“I immediately thought I must not have heard her incorrectly. No one would think this, let alone say it out loud. She continued without fear. ‘My son has the whole act down. He covers his ears, repeats words, and even does a hand twitch! He has the flap down perfectly.’ My stomach dropped. I started repeating to myself, ‘Do not cry. Do not cry.’ I willed myself to hold it together. My son covers his ears. My son’s hands twitch. My son flaps his hands. And one of my greatest fears is he will be bullied for it.”

‘The smallest amount of saliva could drown him. 2 hours later, an angel of a nurse was handing me the tiniest little guy.’: Couple adopts 2 children with special needs making them parents of 5, ‘He has defied every odd and broken every barrier’

“It was my first blind date. We met at a park. He had a horrible outfit on. Green long-sleeve silk shirt, cut off jean shorts and boat shoes. He was bragging about his wild weekend. I was annoyed. 3 weeks after our first ‘date,’ I was hospitalized for an eating disorder. The first time he called I was in rehab. Our whirlwind romance began. We were engaged 6 months later and married 4 months after that, just after my 18th birthday. All I wanted was to be a mom and start a family.”

‘I know it’s only for a few minutes, but having children does not entitle you to handicap parking.’: Mom pens PSA on handicap parking, ‘your convenience is not more important than our safety’

“I know it doesn’t feel like a big deal. I know other people are doing it. But I’ve been the mom unloading two wheelchairs, awkwardly lifting two children out of the vehicle in a normal parking space because a minivan of laughing teenagers with no blue tag pulled into the only available handicap space.”

‘We won’t have a little voice waking us up Christmas morning, no opening presents. We put up lights, even though they can’t express their excitement.’: Special needs mom shares reality of Christmas season, ‘our babies are the gift’

“Our Christmas is different than yours. We get no excited screams when they see what Santa brought. It’s struggling with gift ideas. What do you get a non-mobile, non-verbal child? It’s walking past all the cool toys at the front of every store, wishing our child could play with them. Our Christmas is different, but it’s still so magical.”

‘Yes, Meg. The baby is healthy, stop worrying.’ Coward. She knew. I saw it and felt sick. I didn’t want to hold her.’: Mom unknowingly births baby with Down syndrome, ‘I want to shout her worth to the world!’

“I grabbed a nurse’s arm as she walked by. ‘What’s wrong, is she okay?’ Stumbling over her words, she responded with, ‘Congratulations, she’s beautiful!’ Coward. She handed her to me before quickly walking out of the room, like she was some kind of damaged goods. Her tongue could barely fit in her mouth. I didn’t want to hold her, feed her, or even look at her. I was furious. All I could hear was that damn whispering.”

‘She had abnormal, starry blue eyes. I had a gut-wrenching feeling. We were told ‘not to worry.’ A checkup for a mild cough changed our lives.’: Mom births baby with Williams Syndrome, ‘Genetic disorder or not, we will love her more each day’

“Her low birth weight was dismissed. The doctor told us her heart murmur would ‘dissipate on its own’ and she would be just fine. Little did we know, these were the very first signs. As much as I wanted to convince myself nothing would be wrong, I had a gut-wrenching feeling. My mama heart just knew. They failed us.”

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