Raising kids with special needs is full of surprising realities. Realities not often shared with other families because parents don’t want to sound whiny or complaining. But by avoiding that trap, we often fall into a different trap. A trap of isolation created by our lack of communication. So I was really happy to find a post by Michele Cushatt. She’s wife to 1, mom to 6, a speaker, and writer. 3 of their children are adopted who deal with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD).

7 Unspoken Realities of Special Needs Parenting

In a post at her blog, Michele speaks out about 7 special needs parenting realities. Here’s a summary of what she said:

  1. We’re not snubbing you. It’s just that each day is an effort at survival. Please. Don’t give up on us.
  2. We don’t always know how to ask for help. Special needs families deal with big needs, maybe impossible ones. They appreciate it when you ask to help, but we’re not likely to ask you to take on needs like that.
  3. Our kids aren’t like your kids. But don’t assume our kids are the same just because your son screamed in the grocery store once. We have meltdowns almost every day. Saying “all kids do that” invalidates our reality.
  4. We don’t need your parenting advice. Maybe we do, but save it for a different time, okay? We don’t need you to fix me. We need you to be with us.
  5. Support services are more imaginary than real. There’s often a great chasm between the discussion of support services and the provision of them. We often feel quite alone when we bring our children home.
  6. Some days we want to run away. Some days we need to mourn what’s been lost. We need you to listen without judgment.
  7. We’d do it all over again. Though you’ve seen our tears and frustration, we would do it all over again. It’s worth it.


The complete article can be found at What Parents of Special Needs Kids Need You to Know.

What Do You Want Other Families to Know?

What other unspoken realities do you want others to know? Now’s your chance to speak out. Share them in the comment box.

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