The Dragonfly Forest

They have been given names such as devil’s darning needle, ear sewer, horse stinger, skeeter hawk, and the snake’s servant. Actually, Dragonflies are beneficial, peaceful, and stunning. You are a Dragonfly if you are: ADD/ADHD, dyslexic, dysgraphic, Asperger’s, NLVD, autistic…

Friday, April 18, 2014

A lesson in the reality of being a mother of special needs children

After watching the video in the post A Lesson You Can Learn From The Job Interview you now know that the job description was for a mother.  This is a powerful description of what it is like to be a mother.   Being a mother of a child or children with special needs is even more challenging and often other people do not realize this fact.  

I am discussing mothers and not fathers or parents because it is usually the mothers that I have worked with over the decades in my jobs.  Sometimes this is because the father is working but often it is because mothers are the ones responsible for the raising of the children; so the mothers are the ones contacting me and attending school meetings.  

A mother of a special needs child has the normal parenting stressors and then some because these mothers have to also be an advocate in a way that different than mothers who do not have a child with special needs.  A mother of a "typical" child does NOT have to consistently attend meetings where she are battling for her child to receive an appropriate education and social/emotional/physical support.  

When a mother of a special needs child shares stories of her experiences with the school the mother of "typical" children are often in disbelief.  Mothers of "typical" children often believe that the mothers of special needs children are over exaggerating, dramatic, or the ones being difficult when they hear these stories; but that is NOT the case. 

When a mother of a special needs child attends meetings advocating for her child(ren) school staff members often blame and shame the mother (or child) for the child's behavior and/or learning (or lack of learning).  This happens in almost every meeting I have attended personally and professionally (someday I will write a book about all the inappropriate parenting advice and shaming/blaming comments). 

This post was to just bring this topic to your attention.  A mother of a special needs child has more challenges than a mother of a "typical" child.  Hopefully, people will have more empathy for the mothers of children with special needs.