Why Parents of Kids with Special Needs Stay Silent

As parents of kids with special needs we know our lives are different than most.

Our highs are higher and our challenges are more significant. While our peers are registering kids for sports we are arguing with the insurance company about the cost of a stroller.

Or trying to figure out a new behavior. We are getting babysitters for teenage kids and researching a new medication. We are putting up door alarms and trying to balance the world of special needs with the typical world.

And we are celebrating our kids trying a new food or walking safely to the mailbox.

For years I tried to talk about our world. I tried over a glass of wine at a happy hour or at a birthday party with my other son.

I’d mention something. Or tell a story. And while people genuinely always mean well, the reactions would vary from confused to awkward to shocked.

You bring up fecal smearing or hitting and wait for the reaction.

I’d try to relate my life. To tell my story. But it didn’t seem to fit in with what everyone else was living.

So, I stopped talking. I stopped telling our story. I perfected smiling and nodding.

I want to tell you it wasn’t healthy for me. Or for anyone really.

There are so many reasons why parents of kids with special needs stop talking.

Here are a few that I have felt:

You’ll think I don’t love my baby.

You’ll think I am exaggerating.

You’ll think I’m lazy.

You’ll think I’m a bad parent.

You’ll think I’m complaining or ungrateful.

You’ll see me as weak.

You’ll tell me to get over it.

You won’t understand.

You’ll tell me I should just be happy.

You won’t understand.

You’ll distance yourself from me because my life is so different than yours.

I’ll feel shame.

Have you ever felt any of these when telling your story?

My advice….

Please keep talking. Tell your story. Share your life.

Our lives are not less than because we have kids with special needs.

Our stories are just different. Our challenges and our victories are too.

Talk about them.

Our friends, family and even strangers need to know about our kids and our lives.

Our kids deserve that. And so do we.

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Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook, subscribe for exclusive videos, and subscribe to our newsletter.

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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