Previous Post Next Post

Babble Voices

With

Eliana Tardio

Connect with Eliana

Eliana Tardio is the proud mother of Emir and Ayelen, both with Down syndrome. Tune into love at her weekly column about children with special needs at Babble.

Brought to you by

Empathy, A Gift to Our Community of Parents of Children with Special Needs

By Eliana Tardio |

Disponible en Español, aquí

To me, empathy means a willingness to understand other people’s feelings without needing to have lived their experiences yourself.

Empathy is a gift, and at times a treasure, as is not always found easily in our communities.

I’m not the person I was ten years ago when the doctor informed me that I was expecting a child. I’m also no longer the mother who delivered that child, stuck between the joy of meeting the person who grew inside me for 9 months, and the uncertainty of not recognizing the extra chromosome that sabotaged what I wanted to fit into my perception of perfection.

In fact, I’m not even the same person I was yesterday! I could blame my constant transformation on my zodiac as I’m a Pisces and I’m supposed to always swim in different directions. Or I could blame my ADHD diagnosis for the sudden changes I have experienced through my life and for my never well-established perception about things. Instead, I like to believe that I’m still growing up, and that no matter how many mistakes I may make, I’m still evolving and learning and becoming something better every day.

I feel relieved to have all these feelings sailing the destiny of my life and the lives of my kids, since I myself have overcome a diagnosis. I look at them with joy. I freely enjoy their achievements and accomplishments. I accept their limitations and their challenges, and of course I accept my own, as well .

SONY DSC

That doesn’t make me better than anyone else, just more experienced, and with that experience has come the moral responsibility to be empathetic towards others who might not be as far along on their path as I am on mine.

Once in a while, we should all look back at the person we were years ago. Nine years ago, when my son was born, I was scared. Later, when my daughter was born and they told me she too had Down syndrome, I was angry.

I survived many of the same feelings that I recognized in other new families.

/
Empathy, A Gift to Our Community of Parents of Children with Special Needs

I doubted the possibility of my child attending a mainstream classroom.

Climbing the regular school bus for a typical day at school.

I didn’t want to cry all the time. And yet, that’s who I was then. And the last thing you need in those moments is judgment from others.

SONY DSC

As an experienced parent of children with special needs, or part of the family, friend or community member, please never forget the importance of Empathy.

Many times people ask “How can I help?” For me, there is only one answer: BE EMPATHETIC.

CLICK HERE TO OPEN: How to be empathetic when a parent is informed of their child’s diagnosis.

Follow us on Instagram, facebook and twitter.

More on Babble

About Eliana Tardio

elianatardio

Eliana Tardio

Eliana Tardio is the proud mother of Emir and Ayelen, both with Down syndrome. Tune into love at her weekly column about children with special needs at Babble. Read bio and latest posts → Read Eliana's latest posts →

« Go back to Babble Voices

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, profile photo and other personal information you make public on Facebook (e.g., school, work, current city, age) will appear with your comment. Comments, together with personal information accompanying them, may be used on Babble.com and other Babble media platforms. Learn More.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.

Previous Post Next Post

The Daily Babble