It Takes More Than Most: Life As Special Needs Parent


It takes more than most.

A weekend away. A special needs sibling hero. A pdf explaining all of the things.

I mean, as much as one of our boys loves car rides, the other is in the completely opposite direction and suffers from car sickness.

It doesn’t stop at car rides, either.

One is fair with ringlets. The other has dark hair that’s as straight as you can come by.

One will walk up to strangers in a crowd and make a dear friend for life. The other will be content not talking to anyone, even once.

One is built like a sixteen year old. The other is not even in the top 10% for height and weight. (He doesn’t take after me)

Our girls, who are also neurodivergent, have a lot of differences too.

Our boys; one will play at a park for hours on the different equipment; making friends of all ages and backgrounds. The other gets nervous around certain people and only enjoys one thing.

One will eat every veggie under the son. The other will have to have veggies hidden for the most part; unless he gets wild hair.

They are polar opposites. These polar opposites do have one thing in common, though.

It’s how much they love each other.

Sometimes, taking a step away really is a step forward. Together.

If you are lucky enough, you can catch those little glimpses.

It’s the silent invitations.

It’s the saying I love you with no spoken words.

It’s saying I missed you with the most tender whisper touch.

It’s where the opposites attract and are pulled together like magnets.

It’s as if you would never have an inclination that it isn’t always this way; aligning perfectly and without a hitch.

You know, however…

So, you take that mental snapshot when the big brother is just that…showing tenderness and protection with a delicate kiss as light as the wings of a butterfly given right in the middle of the little one’s forehead.

It takes more than most. For what, I’m sure you’re wondering.

EVERY single thing.

It’s the ability to go on a weekend away.

It’s the opportunity to get more than a couple of hours of sleep a night.

It’s the opportunity to drop off your child at school without sending a dozen texts or emails regarding the latest updates.

It’s going in a public bathroom, park, or restaurant.

It’s taking medication to ward off cold symptoms without worrying if you can mask the taste enough,  or finding a Port-A-Potty and feeling like you could literally jump up and down.

It’s all of these things and more.

You see, for parents like us, it takes us a lot more effort for one simple little thing.

There is something else, though too. This life rewards us so much more too.

It’s back to the polar opposites; the magnetic pull that pushes and pulls from one second to the next that shows us that sometimes…

If we’re lucky enough to pay attention….

It doesn’t only take more than most, but it gives more than most too.

Written by Nicole Willard of Raven’s Lore: An Autistic Family’s Expedition

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Nicole Willard

Nicole Willard resides in Indiana with her husband and two sons. Her son Xavier was diagnosed with autism at age two, and her adult daughters and son in laws live nearby. She is a fierce local advocate for all special needs inclusion, and works with public entities on providing sensory events for those with disabilities, as well as local groups. In addition, she was recently diagnosed autistic herself. She started her blog, Raven's Lore: An Autistic Family's Expedition in July of 2021, and loves spending her free time in nature with her family.

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