The Importance of Grace as a Special Needs Parent

I talk a lot about grace on this page. A word that honestly didn’t mean all that much to me before this journey. But now, well, grace is everything.

Because as parents, we can be way too hard on ourselves.

When I speak to parents of newly diagnosed kids, and parents of kids diagnosed long before autism was a common word, they all tell me similar stories. Every single parent.

They tell me about the things they didn’t know.

They didn’t know that their child was in pain. Or they didn’t know what caused the meltdowns. Or the self-injurious behavior.

They didn’t know what the triggers were. They didn’t know just how loud the sounds were or how bright the lights could be to their child.

They didn’t know about the chronic ear infections or the stomachaches or that their child was suffering.

They didn’t know because their child couldn’t communicate.

And more importantly, no one would listen.

These parents beat themselves up. They tell me that they failed their child.

And these parents, these so called failures, go onto to tell me about the countless doctors they’ve visited for answers. And the endless hours of therapy.

They tell me about dead ends and doors slamming shut.

They tell me about the tears they’ve cried and the worries and the fears.

They tell me about fighting with insurance companies and schools and doctors.

They tell me about the advocacy and the fights for inclusion.

They tell me about internal battles over hope and faith.

They tell me about their unwavering love for their child.

And they always end it with…’I just didn’t know. I failed so many times.’

This is where grace comes in. And where it’s the most vital.

We only know what we know at the time parents. We can only do so much. We can only move one mountain at a time. And we can only tread water for so long.

I know this because for so many years I had no idea what I was doing. I was just trying to survive and help my son. And most days, I felt like I wasn’t doing a good job at either of those.

I was very hard on myself. I still am. I am my biggest critic. Just like the amazing parents I speak with.

Moms and dads, grandparents raising grandbabies, and caregivers, you are doing the best job that you can. And I promise you…your child thinks you are a superhero. In fact, I guarantee it.

You are doing a great job at this special needs parenting thing because you refuse to give up.

Give yourself the grace that you deserve. The grace that you give to others so easily.

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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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