Experiencing Post-Traumatic Growth while Raising a Child with Disabilities

by May 29, 2024Grief, In Parents, PTSD, Special Needs Parenting, Uncategorized0 comments

Jolene explains the benefits of experiencing post-traumatic growth while raising a child with disabilities.

Experiencing post-traumatic growth (PTG) while raising a child with disabilities may not be on your radar screen when you’re drowning in the stress associated with caregiving. The only growth that concerned me during our son’s medically fragile years was increasing his strength as he fought for his life. Paying attention to the stress I was experiencing while he struggled, and possible growth coming from it, never crossed my mind.

Now, as I reflect on the hot mess I was in 1982 after our son’s birth, I barely recognize the young and very stressed person I was then. The credit for my present lack of hot messiness goes to post-traumatic growth.

By now you may be asking yourself, “What is post traumatic growth, how do I sign up for the class, and how do I know it’s happening in me?”

Let’s start with the first question.

In a research study conducted by Taylor Elam and Kanako Taku, they define PTG as “the positive psychological changes as a result of a struggle with a major life crisis or traumatic event.” The crisis or event is the kind that rocks a person to the core and forces a re-evaluation of beliefs about the world. That sounds a lot like what many parents experience after a child’s diagnosis, doesn’t it?

Now, on to the second question.

The bad news is that I don’t know of classes about PTG. But according to Richard Tedeschi, who has worked extensively with traumatized veterans, you can facilitate and encourage your own growth in 5 powerful ways.

To learn more about experiencing post-traumatic growth while raising a child with disabilities, go to this link at the Key Ministry blog for special needs parents.

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Photo by Elijah Hiett on Unsplash

By Jolene

Jolene Philo is the author of several books for the caregiving community. She speaks at parenting and special needs conferences around the country. Sharing Love Abundantly with Special Needs Families: The 5 Love Languages® for Parents Raising Children with Disabilities, which she co-authored with Dr. Gary Chapman, was released in August of 2019 and is available at local bookstores, their bookstore website, and Amazon. See Jane Dance!, the third book in the West River cozy mystery series, which features characters affected by disability, was released in October of 2023.


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Meet Jolene

Jolene Philo is a published author, speaker, wife, and mother of a son with special needs.



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