This post is the first in a series about special needs parenting from the inside out designed to reduce your stress and improve your parenting responses.

Special needs parenting is a challenging, wonderful, unexpected, amazing adventure. For most of us, it is uncharted territory that can be scary and stressful. It can also push our buttons, causing normally sane and calm adults like us to fly off the handle when we least expect it.

The Origins of Special Needs Parenting from the Inside Out

While doing the research for Does My Child Have PTSD? What To Do When Your Child Is Hurting from the Inside Out, I read an excellent book that explained why parents overreact when their kids intentionally or inadvertently push their buttons. The book, by Dr Daniel Siegel and Mary Hartzell is Parenting from the Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive.

This book, along many others read while researching the book about PTSD in kids, also helped me understand why so many parents of kids with special needs are more stressed than those raising typical kids. I even developed a recertification workshop for foster and adoptive parents. Whenever I present it, I can almost see the lightbulbs turning on inside the minds of those attending as they connect with the concepts presented.

Special Needs Parenting from the Inside Out Blog Series

Their enthusiastic response motivated me to create a special needs parenting from the inside out blog series for the Different Dream website. So over the next few months, I’ll be sharing the parenting information from the foster and adoptive parent workshop with you. There’s a lot of information to share, which will be presented in small, easy-to-digest portions, on occasional Thursdays over several months. You’ll learn about the basic areas of the brain and how they respond to stress and traumatic events. You’ll also learn about different kinds of memory, about different ways babies learn to attach and how those attachments affect their behavior as children and our responses as adults. You’ll also learn to reflect upon the events from your own childhood that tend to push your buttons and what you can do to make the button-pushing stop. Finally, you’ll learn when it’s time to go beyond self-reflection and seek professional help to put an end to the button pushing.

Your Special Needs Parenting from the Inside Out Homework Assignment

Actually, there isn’t any homework. I just used that heading to grab your attention. But you are invited to leave questions and comments as always. And if you r-e-a-l-l-y want homework, I highly recommend you read Parenting from the Inside Out. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

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This post is the first in a series about special needs parenting from the inside out designed to reduce your stress and improve your parenting responses.