Try This Tuesday #36: Helping A “New” Special Needs Parent

Try This Tuesday

Welcome to another Try This Tuesday. For details on how to participate, please check out the welcome post. If you’d like to join in but aren’t sure what to write about, try the topic suggestion for this week: Helping a “New” Special Needs Parent.

What would you say to someone who has just learned that their child has special needs? What do you wish someone had said to you? (This can be general or specific to a particular diagnosis, and feel free to repost something if you have already written on this topic.)

Things to Remember

As I was pondering this topic last week, I ran across a blog post with a wonderful list of things for parents of special needs children to remember. I thought it was so fitting that I asked for permission to post it here. The original author is unknown, but the list comes to us by way of Mia at General Hysteria.


1. Take one day at a time, and take that day positively. You don’t have control over the future, but you do have control over today.

2. Never underestimate your child’s potential. Allow him, encourage him, expect him to develop to the best of his abilities.

3. Find and allow positive mentors: parents and professionals who can share with you their experience, advice, and support.

4. Provide and be involved with the most appropriate educational and learning environments for your child from infancy on.

5. Keep in mind the feelings and needs of your spouse and your other children. Remind them that this child does not get more of your love just because he gets more of your time.

6. Answer only to your conscience: then you’ll be able to answer to your child. You need not justify your actions to your friends or the public.

7. Be honest with your feelings. You can’t be a super-parent 24 hours a day. Allow yourself jealousy, anger, pity, frustration, and depression in small amounts whenever necessary.

8. Be kind to yourself. Don’t focus continually on what needs to be done. Remember to look at what you have accomplished.

9. Stop and smell the roses. Take advantage of the fact that you have gained a special appreciation for the little miracles in life that others take for granted.

10. Keep and use a sense of humor. Cracking up with laughter can keep you from cracking up from stress.

-Author Unknown

I don’t know about you, but this list is something I want to bookmark and read often, even more than four years after hearing the words “autism spectrum disorder” applied to my son.

In this same vein, Mia has written beautifully about her own struggles dealing with her son’s diagnosis of cerebral palsy and also shares her personal suggestions for parents in her post The Acceptance of Grief ~ The Long Version.

Personally, I will always remember what a more experienced special needs mom said to me shortly after my son’s diagnosis; she reminded me that he was the same wonderful, sweet, challenging boy the day after the diagnosis as he was the day before. Nothing had changed, except that we now had a direction to go for information and help which we didn’t have before.

Please join in and share the creative solutions YOU have found to your own challenges, or feel free to post your own challenge for input from others.

Topic Suggestion for Next Week: With next week being the fifth Tuesday of the month, I was thinking we could take a break from the more serious topics and share something a bit lighter. Is there an activity you’ve done with your child or something your child has participated in that shows their fun or adventurous side? Let’s get some ideas from each other for fun things to do with our kids.

For some reason, I am seeing the Mr. Linky on the home page but not the post page. I am listing the people who linked up here so you can visit them:

  1. Maddy
  2. rickismom
  3. Lynn Rickert
  4. Amazing_Grace
  5. Cale
  6. Jenny @ Special Considerations

As the host of Try This Tuesday, Trish shares some of the solutions she has found to make life easier and invites you to do the same. You can also find her blogging at Another Piece of the Puzzle and Autism Interrupted.

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