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Does having a child with special needs make parents more special?

 Disponible en Español aquí

Having one or more children with special needs is often awarded with admiration from many. Usually people introduce me by saying things like: “she’s a very special mom,” or “this woman is outstanding for the work she’s doing with her kids and her community,” but honestly, I don’t deserve to be thought of as more special for loving my own kids, that’s what every good parent does!  

Does having a child with special needs make parents more special?

The special part about being the parent of a child with special needs is not how much you love that child, as love doesn´t see differences, but how you learn to see positive stuff where others would only see challenges. Yes, we (parents of kids with special needs) get challenged in many ways, and if you look at it from the outside, you may be deceived, seeing some sort of superhero fighting for the rights of their kids. In reality, the only thing  happening, is a regular parent doing his best to learn and cope with a life that was never part of the plan.

There are special parents with typical kids and with kids with special needs. The diagnosis of a child doesn’t make anyone more special, but the individual determination to learn from any experience that we must face during our lives is what sets us apart.

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When you have kids with special needs you spend more time with them as they need extra care and services. Many times their medical conditions are severe and you are entitled to dedicate your life to them. Eventually, you learn to adapt your life to your new circumstances and the day you accept and find your life’s mission through your kids’ condition, that’s the day when your life changes for good and everything looks different. Then, we feel gratitude and start receiving our lives with love.

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It turns out though, it’s not so different when you have a typical child. You may decide on your own accord to give him more or less attention as he doesn´t need you as much as a child with special needs, but when you decide to give that child unconditional love and the best side of you every day, you are also a special parent.

Life is so busy that we sometimes leave the very important stuff for the next day. We don’t use our words of pride and empowerment to remind our kids how much we love them, or perhaps we choose to simply let them survive day-to-day instead of guiding them to live and learn from us in every moment. This happens to every parent. We all get tired, we all get depressed sometimes and we all have doubts about how good we can be.

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But what makes us all special parents is our desire to overcome those feelings, to understand the responsibility we have to be good and to teach them good, and the positive sense that our lives take when we find a good reason to be better in parenthood.

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That’s what makes any parent special, regardless of their child’s needs or abilities.

We are all special if only for the fact that we try hard to do our best every day, all for the love we have for our kids.

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