special needs parents don’t always feel special or chosen

On our trip to Tennessee last week to witness the Special Olympics we must have been told this statement roughly 20 times.

It became frustrating to hear continuously and we realized it has replaced the annoying “awww he/she’s tired” statement as our least favorite thing to hear.

A simple hello is so much more appreciated..

Written by louanne spouse

A study done on mothers of children with intellectual disabilities or autism found that we are 40% more likely to die of cancer; 150% more likely to die of cardiovascular disease and nearly 200% more likely to die from misadventure (a category that includes accident, suicide, and homicide) than other mothers.


This study did not even consider those who have a child with significant lifelong physical disabilities. And even if we are fortunate enough to escape the chronic disease risks of the SN life, we still have far higher rates of depression, anxiety disorders and PTSD than mothers of typically developing children.


Perhaps our premature death or psychiatric problems are still considered acceptable struggles within the realm of ‘Gods plan’. Theological views aside though, trying to calm someone down with platitudes dismisses their experience of hardship and diminishes the actual support being given.


It dismisses the shattering of a mother’s heart when she hears her child’s diagnosis for the first time. It minimizes the agony of a mother who wakes every hour of the night to soothe a child whose brain won’t allow them to sleep. It ignores the wounds inflicted on a father watching his child being drugged and then resuscitated in the triage bay after another uncontrolled seizure. It overlooks the physical toll that caregiving takes on the body and the hopelessness that clouds the mind when exhaustion takes hold.


The truth is, a lot of days, it really doesn’t feel like we’re handling it at all.



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