I had a lot to learn on my own, but mostly, I learned from my children. And I think my experiences may not be so different from those of other parents of kids with special needs. They have a lot to teach us, and here are the six most important things I’ve learned from my kids.
I learned to understand that it doesn’t matter when achievement happens 1 of 6
It will be always perfect and the pride and joy is no different for any parent. Those feelings are not measurable and can´t not be determined by a developmental chart.
I realized that as humans beings, we are many times perceived as different, labeled and underestimated 2 of 6
Since then, I've learned that others can think whatever they want. Some people will be willing to learn and change their minds; some never will, and that's okay. Not all disabilities are obvious.
I learned that because we look different, people tend to treat us differently. 3 of 6
You may never know how people will react, but you can let them know what you expect from them.
Several times I have faced skepticism to my personal stories and my personal insight of what my kids can do 4 of 6
I have learned to believe in them, and to teach them to believe in themselves as well. Love is the key.
Some people feel they already know your children 5 of 6
What I have learned is to celebrate each child's uniqueness way beyond their features or their number of chromosomes. I don´t expect to know everything about other children with special needs based on my own experience, so I don't accept that others "know" my children without really knowing them and their unique capabilities.
The most important I have learned 6 of 6
Is that there are always going to be positive and negative people out there. Some people will always look at us with sorrow, others with admiration or indifference. Others will simply look at us with for what we are, ordinary people.
What really matters is how we perceive ourselves. Judgment is an easy game to play. The hard thing to do is to take the risk to speak up, knowing already that not everyone is ready to hear you. But you may touch a single heart, and that will be enough to keep going on, with faith and love for those who really deserve your love: your children.
I have learned to keep fighting and to keep my voice raised. And everything I’ve learned is everything I’m teaching my kids—to become their own best advocates