Learned Wisdom


In many instances, raising a special needs child changes the way that parents think and feel. Here are some common lessons that many parents of special needs children  feel that they have learned. 

Be realistic

Know that some things can be changed and other things can't. Work hard to change what you can. Accept what cannot be changed.

A different package

You might grieve for the child that won't be, the child you hoped for. Then you can move on with some degree of hope and enthusiasm, because you are getting a different package - one that contains a gift you didn't expect, with nice surprises you never expected. Parenting a child with special needs is like learning to appreciate visiting a place you never planned to go.

"Special" includes everyone

All people are unique, each with his or her "special" personality, talents and challenges, likes and dislikes. Your child may not be typical, but he or she is an individual, like everyone else, and deserves the same respect.

Teach and learn

Through aiding and guiding their child with special needs, you may see that your child teaches you important lessons you otherwise would not have learned.

Appreciate people for who they are

You start to appreciate people for who they are, not only for their talents or what they can give you. You learn that, although your child is physically and/or cognitively disabled, at her core she is a complete human being.

You are stronger than you imagined

Raising a special needs child, you may learn that you possess strength you never realized. Overcoming the challenges involved with bringing up a special needs child helps you to become a stronger, smarter and more sensitive person.

A real education

Raising a special needs child gives you the opportunity to learn many things that you never expected to. You might find yourself becoming an expert on child development, anatomy, physiology, therapies, medications, natural remedies and human emotions. You may feel as if you have learned enough to get a higher degree in several fields.

Rose colored glasses

You might begin to notice how compassionate some people can be. You can learn the invaluable worth of friendly support, of help that is truly helpful, of a hug.

All a process

One mother of a boy with Down syndrome learned a beautiful lesson. Just as reaching each developmental milestone is a slow challenge for her little Dave, so too is growth in her own life.

Through her disabled son, this mother learned to validate her own baby steps towards change and acceptance, and to appreciate the sincere efforts of those who care about her.  You may also find this to be true for you.