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Challenge: Kids with Special Needs

Ten Truths of One Special Needs Family

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1. We wouldn't trade our life for anyone else's.

It's true. We really wouldn't, though maybe neither would most families. The difference is I may have wondered if that was true of those with special needs designation and so I tell you, we are happy.

2. Our life is very different from yours.
I have a hard time remembering what filled my thoughts and time before Amos. Regular life, I guess, the fun and the annoying, though hindsight seems so simple.

3. We are worn out.
I am tired, more tired than I ever knew possible. I have been parenting a toddler for years now and even with help, I am physically and emotionally exhausted.

4. Brave facing is a daily occurrence.
Most of us, not me obviously, pretend that everything is A-Okay. Two reasons, we detest pity and we worry you may equate complaining with lack of love.

5. Typically developing children break our hearts and fill us with amazement.
Simultaneously, most often. Not a day goes by that I don't marvel at a friend's child throwing a ball, shouting a demand, or engaging in a real conversation.

6. We wish we didn't need special treatment.
Adaptive skiing, no lines at Disney, nearby parking, all the benefits we would happily discard if only.

7. We like to be included and battle against isolating ourselves.
Our family is a lot to include, four kids, much less one that needs to be watched carefully and doesn't participate in activities like the other children. We stand out so we have to forcibly make ourselves resist the urge to stick too close to home.

8. We need you to ignore terrible behavior and act regular.
Just smile and say nothing. Don't give me the sad eyes or start talking to me about how this experience is such a good teaching tool for my other kids, Amos is not an experiment.

9. Questions over silence are preferred.
Ask us things and encourage your kids to ask questions too. The silence that comes too often is deafening, belittling and feels judgmental.

10. Life is an experience of depths and heights that travel with loving someone special.
There is no denying this as I loved big before and after Amos and I can say with one hundred and ten percent certainty, special needs love breaks the door down.

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