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Monday, November 2, 2015

5 Common Misconceptions About Special Needs Parents

As the mother of a child with special needs, people often go out of their way to offer me words of encouragement, support and praise. Most of the time, I sincerely appreciate the good intentions behind these confidence builders. Sometimes their words are spot-on. But every once in a while, their comments could not be further from the truth.
In order for others to truly understand the complexity of being a parent to a child with special needs, I feel the need to dispel some common misconceptions I’ve heard.
1. You have so much patience.” The truth is, I don’t. Each morning, I rush to get everyone dressed and out of the house on time. Sometimes this results in a panicked and impatient me yelling. I get easily annoyed in the car. I was the child who perpetually asked, “Are we there yet?” I’m now the woman behind you in traffic shouting, “Stick a nickel in it,” as I do my best to make it from work to my kid’s next therapy appointment on time. I loathe waiting — on a phone call, for a table at restaurants and on the table at the ob-gyn.
Having a child with special needs does not make me immune to bouts of impatience. Parenting is a delicate practice in patience. And with time, I hope to improve — if I can wait that long.

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