We all like having a pal, someone who just gets us, people around us that have the same interests, likes, dislikes.
At every stage of our life we make friends, or perhaps our friends, colleagues, acquaintances can come and go. This is natural, it’s life.
During the highs and lows of life – your friends (and family) go through the rollercoaster with you. Some stay on…. holding on for dear life! Others get off at the quickest opportunity, and new ones along the way want to jump on for the ride.
Having a child with special needs can seem at times like you’re on the fastest roller coaster with ups, downs, and the craziest, fastest loop the loops!!
For some it can feel incredibly isolating.
Your child doesn’t hit milestones when their peers do.
Your child struggles with things that others take for granted.
A challenge for another child is held under a magnifying glass for your child
and seems overwhelming to deal with.
Your day looks different, your parenting style has to be too, and it can feel lonely.
At times you don’t know where to start to even explain this feeling. You’re exhausted from giving your kids your all, fighting (and I mean really fighting) for everything that they need – the help at school, the appointment to see a specialist, the follow ups, the meetings, the IEP, EHCP, statement, diagnosis, therapy, intervention …. I could go on…. and on?!
We can all experience this though right? Whether you’re a parent of a special needs child or not, we can all feel isolated and lonely for one reason or another, I know it’s not unique to special parents.
I have had many times where I’ve felt that isolated, lonely feeling. Some really low moments where I just want to curl up and cry….. often because I feel I wouldn’t change my kids for the world, but I would like to take away anything that makes them sad, anxious or hurt. At times like this you feel as though it’s too much to explain, too much to burden others with – you keep it to yourself.
BUT it’s so important to recognise you’re doing this and to reach out.
Reach out to friends…. the ones that have stayed on that rollercoaster and are lifting their hands in the air and wooping as it goes round the loop!
Reach out to others in the same boat as you…. join online support groups, meet ups, charities that support Special Needs.
There is help out there if you’re willing to go and find it. Not always the easiest step to take but one that will be very worthwhile.
And another biggy, be honest and open. Again not something that happens overnight but something that will help to build trust, develop understanding and ultimately unlock that feeling of isolation. Welcome people into your world.
So here goes I’ll start:
I’m Jane, mum to two beautifully special children, each of them individual and unique.
Charlie is Autistic and has a fascinating, sensitive and honest mind and the kindest heart.
Sofia has Di George syndrome, a tiny girl with a big personality, a strong and determined little thing!
If you’re reading this and aren’t a special parent yourself please know that by supporting someone that is you are doing more than will probably ever realise.
If you are blessed with special children, know that you aren’t in this alone, you have many like me around you that want to share, support and help others in the same position.
Hold on tight, that roller coaster will keep going up and down, but know that you’re on it with others that are screaming just as loud…..:0)