The Top Ten Things We Didn’t Know or Expect When We Became Parents of Children with Special Needs

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6. Their love and sensitivity is unlimited — I notice that most parents of special needs children report that their children notice other people’s pain and are extremely compassionate. The children’s love is embedded with purity, sincerity, loyalty, and affection untainted by
underlying interests and motivations.

7. Be prepared to carve time out for your marriage — children require a great deal of our time and energy and can drain emotional energy reserves needed to nurture our marriage. Situations with special needs children is even more difficult. Finding the time may be hard, but it is necessary. Keep in mind your children will be healthier
and happier if your marriage is well-nurtured, happy, and healthy.

8. Your house will not be a museum — I like order,cleanliness, clutter-free space and beautiful furnishings and adornments. My children constantly break things, draw on anything they can find, and place stickers everywhere.I have had to accept I will not be updating or fixing up my house for years to come. My house is lived in and I am
learning to be okay with that.

9. You will develop patience whether you like it or not — I do homework with my daughter and understand she needs multi-sensory techniques to master math or that she can’t focus well on her homework because her medication hasn’t kicked in yet. I can ignore a tantrum and take it for what it is: childhood immaturity. I can hold myself back when my child is screaming at me, recognize that I am the adult, and can stay in control. While it isn’t always easy, if I don’t exercise those patience muscles constantly, I’ll never survive these children’s needs and raise them successfully.

10. You can never know who this child will become — my son wasn’t speaking, making eye contact or interacting with others between ages two and four. I seriously thought he was autistic, and a Developmental Pediatrician agreed with me at that time. Well, who would have known the kid would suddenly have a language explosion in kindergarten,become fully toilet trained by age five, learn to read
overnight, and come out of his shell at age seven? We no longer think he is autistic and I foresee that just perhaps, this child may be able to go to college and hold down a real job one day. One never knows until time passes and the child unfolds into the person they are
meant to be.

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