To the Mom of the Child with Special Needs – Part 2

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It was about 5 years ago. I sat in the school’s office with my son, filling out enrollment paperwork. Though I hurried through the process, I wasn’t fast enough to escape an impending meltdown. We weren’t quite done, they told us. He had to take a photo for his school ID card.

What should’ve been a quick point and shoot moment was anything but that. That ID card, with the picture of his tear-stained face, would always remind me that the road ahead will have many obstacles to overcome.

Are you a mother of a child with special needs? Perhaps you can relate well to this story. Maybe you’re just beginning your journey, and you feel paralyzed, afraid to take the next step, not knowing where this road will take you.

In my previous post and in this one, I hope to share some thoughts that will give you courage to press on.

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Stay Two Steps Ahead (+ Two More)

Even if you’re the most spontaneous person on the planet, when you become a mom, you will likely become the person, who instinctively prepares ahead.

But if you have a child with special needs, you need to stay two or more steps ahead. There is no such thing as overpreparation. Not only will you have a Plan B, but Plans C, D, and E as well. Moreover, you will have to include your child in this preparation,  walking him through every step ahead before it happens. Transition from one activity to the next is tough for special needs kids, but it can go more smoothly when you announce what is to come so that he has some time to adjust.

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Seek Support From Others

The path you’re on can be a very lonely one.  It’s so easy to get into the mindset that no one understands, but that thinking just leads to further isolation. But you don’t have to feel alone. I know it can be risky to lay open your heart like that, but God may have prepared that friend to be the one, who will bear this burden with you. And, it doesn’t have to be someone, who has a child with special needs. You can receive great encouragement from those who are willing to listen and be there for you.

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Spend Time Reflecting

When faced with the challenges of caring for your child, a number of thoughts spin around in your head … some thoughts are irrational, some depressing, and some even despairing. “Will I ever have a normal life?” That time needed to reflect is not to multiply more thoughts, like these. But rather, it is to intentionally meditate on the complete opposite.

I have spent a lot of time in earnest prayer and reading the Bible, so that I would see my situation, not through the eyes of a tired, frustrated, and inadequate mom, but through the eyes of a powerful, gracious, and all-sufficient God.

“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”(2 Corinthians 12:9)

If you missed Part 1 of this post, click here.

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18 thoughts on “To the Mom of the Child with Special Needs – Part 2

  1. I hope I can be a good friend to someone with a special needs child. Thanks for helping me see how I be of service to others. (=

  2. Being a mother is hard all around, I’m sure special needs only makes it harder. I pray that you will be surrounded by the support you need. It is so important, as parents that we have that. Thankfully God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, even though at times, it seems like He sure is piling it on. Haha I love the scripture you quoted at the end. It is perfect. I have also been encouraged lately with Colossians 1:16-17 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

  3. I AM the most spontaneous person in the world, but you are right…I have to stay 2 steps ahead. Augh, I remember those early paperwork days! It’s not gone but it just seems like there’s so much less now that my kids are 9 and 12, but maybe not 🙂 Thanks for sharing these!

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