You Are Not Alone

I have a child with special needs.  I use that word loosely since every child has special needs, or needs specific to their personality.  With that said, I have a whole perspective and appreciation for parents with children who require more than the basic expectations of parenting.  And while my son’s obstacles seem miniscule in comparison to other more grandiose or life threatening disorders they are his obstacles and no parent wants that for their child.

When my son was 3 I started noticing things that were, mmm, unusual but nothing to cause significant concerns.  He was a picky eater, reacted very strongly to certain situations in the way of tantrums or meltdowns, but he slept well and interacted well with other children so I chalked it up being three.  (insert sarcasm here) My most favorite age.

As he matured I continued to observe this behavior, something I thought he would surely grow out of.  He would go for weeks without any outbursts causing me to think I was overreacting than something would upset him and I’d be reminded of my concerns.  It was a roller coaster of emotions during this time as I tried to sort out what was of real concern and what I could chalk up to his age.

Fast forward to today.  After a series of big life changes including moving (twice – which introduced new friends and new school), a change in parental jobs, two deaths in our extended family which required me to be gone for 3 weeks, and any number of small changes to our daily routine he is exhibiting even more strong reactions to food, outside stimulation, and annoyances aka brothers.

This journey has led me and mr to seek professional help, not only for him but for ourselves.  It is exhausting both physically and emotionally to struggle with your child who is suffering and not knowing why or how to help them. During my brief experiences with doctors and in talking with friends I have realized I am not alone in this.  There is a community out there willing to support and listen.  I am humbled and grateful to be apart of it.

After much difficulty and heartfelt prayer and research I have decided to share our story with you.  Rather, my story as a parent in little snippets here and there.  It may seem rather odd but I feel inspired to do this.  I know how difficult this road can be and, while I struggle daily with fear, doubts, the unknowns, I know there are others just like me who feel the same way.  Whether you are the parent of a special needs child or not we have all felt alone.

As I move forward with this {even now I have no idea where this could go and my heart is about to leap out of my chest} I only ask that you please show respect as this is a sensitive subject and one that is near to my heart.  If you happen to be close to me personally and know my child please do not use his name as I would like to protect his privacy as much as possible.

Disclaimer: I am no way an expert on child development.  In the event that something I have said has offended you, I apologize.  I have a pure and sincere intent to uplift and comfort others.

Comments

  1. Sonya Neal says:

    Thank you for sharing! You are definitely NOT alone…. I felt as if you were taking the words right out of my mouth… (((hugs)))

    • Krista says:

      I was honestly so afraid of allowing comments on this post but last night I felt as though I should. So grateful to have wonderful support and friends! Thank you Sonya!

  2. Peggy says:

    I have a child with special needs. there, I said it.
    we all need support, not judgment. It is a rough, bumpy road, and there is love and joy. Some days I think what an amazing blessing this child is and let go of all the what ifs and just take pleasure in him. Some days I weep.

    • Krista says:

      Well said Peggy! Sometimes it’s difficult to be in the now when we all struggle with the unknowns of the future. I am constantly having to remind myself of that.

  3. Mandy says:

    I too have a child with special needs, and what a journey these last 13 years have taken me on. He has taken me to my lowest of lows but also my highest of highs. When I look back I realize for years I was experiencing the grief cycle, mourning the “perfect” child he was supposed to be. When I finally stopped trying to “fix” him, things changed for me. Do I still get angry at our situation, yes, but not as often. He has changed me, he has changed the way I view the world, and for that I am grateful! But there are some days, that if I have to change ONE more poopy man diaper, I feel like I will scream, along with other things. But, in the end he is my heart, my forever sidekick. It is definitely a different life as a parent that we lead, and can definitely feel very lonely, I am so grateful for my relationships with other warrior mothers. I have two “normal” kids besides my special boy, and unless you are raising a child with special needs, it is hard to understand what we go through.

    • Krista says:

      I love that you said warrior mothers, Mandy! While I am still a warrior and fight for my other kids I have more opportunities and the need for strength and sometimes (a lot of) patience when confronting issues for my “special” son. We are their strongest advocate and that’s not always easy. But they sure are worth it aren’t they!? Hugs to you my friend and your strong family.

  4. You’re so strong and amazing Krista, I think it’s inspiring that you are going to share your experience!

  5. I love Mandy’s comment. How often do we try to “fix” the people we love the most? Thank you for your bravery Krista. I love you and your munchkins more than I can express!

  6. Louise Lawson says:

    I too have a child with special needs. She is now 20 and is constantly amazing me. She is still learning new things. I remember when we first found out. My first question was what did I do wrong? Why did I get this challenge? It will be a challenge and a battle. Just remember you are your child’s strongest advocate. Stay strong and trust your instincts. What works for other kids may not work the same for your child. Every day is a new day with different emotions and reactions. You did nothing wrong to get this challenge. God just knew that YOU could handle this. It is okay to cry and feel down. When you are done then you can do it for another day. Sometimes you have to take it tantrum by tantrum. There were times I did not think we would make it through! But my daughter is now beautiful 20 year old who most times acts like a 12 year old but we are still learning together. Remember you can do hard things. Lots of love and prayers.

    • Krista says:

      Thank you sooo much Louise! How true your words are. The self doubt is a battle daily. We are slowly getting answers or at least confirmation that he needs help and that has helped me be strong. I’m actually amazed at how my attitude and personality have changed in just a few short months. I’m grateful to have this challenge (most days) and what a blessing he is in our family. Thank you for your support and prayers! XO

  7. Deborah says:

    Hugs to you my friend!!

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