The Biggest Challenge of Parenting a Child with Special Needs

The Biggest Challenge for Parents of a Child With Special Needs

I’ve previously discussed some of the challenges we’ve faced with parenting Jude. Parenting any child has it’s challenges but parenting a child with special needs can be extremely tough especially when those needs aren’t obvious to the typical bystander.

Let me elaborate. Jude started at a new school this year, a school which we were very excited about the possibilities it would offer a child especially like Jude. As with any type of transition he’s had his struggles and while he’s rapidly excelling in some areas (academics) he’s still struggling in others (behavior). I’m not the type of parent that thinks my child can do no wrong however, it is extremely difficult to hear that your child is problematic at school. Whenever Jude struggles with his behavior I take offense in my parenting even though I know there are more issues at play than a lack of discipline.

I think the biggest challenge I’m facing right now is accepting that I’m doing what is in the best interest of Jude even though the results aren’t happening as quickly or as easily as I might expect. And learning to NOT CARE what others, who aren’t apprised of the situation, may think. The parenting community can be very judgmental, we all think we know the “best” way to parent when in reality we are all just doing our best with what we know. I’ve personally learned to be a lot less judgmental of other parents after having dealt with glares, snide comments or other ignorant remarks of my own. I will admit it can be tough and I’d love to be able to explain our situation to every passerby but that just not realistic.

I am constantly reminding myself that only Joe and I (and a handful of others) are the only ones who really understand the depth of what is happening in our family. Together we’ve experienced the hardest of hard days and rejoiced together after milestones are met. We’ve cried together, prayed together, sought council together. We are the few that are able to see the amount of growth and development that has taken place over the years and have hope for what the future holds. And in reality we are the only people who matter in this situation.

Publicly blogging about a child with special needs is sensitive and somewhat taboo but there are two main reasons I blog about our challenges with Jude:

  1. To document our journey. I can look back and really see how far we’ve all come. I can remember the hard times, the things that didn’t work and the things that did. I can rejoice in our journey because it’s brought us so far and I’m really proud of Jude.
  2. To share our journey with others. I truly hope this post finds it’s way to the screen of someone that needs it, that needs to hear they aren’t alone.

We still have a long way to go but I’m slow learning embrace that Joe and I get to share in this unique journey together. It’s a rough road but we will undoubtedly grow and be changed throughout the process.

The best things in life aren’t obtained easily and there is no doubt in my mind that this experience of parenting Jude will be one of the best things I do with my life.

 

Jessica is a family lifestyle blogger living in Raleigh, NC with her husband and four sons (7, 4, 3 and 1). Jessica started thebkeepsushonest.com in November of 2009, but has been blogging since 2003. Jessica writes about family life, recipes, travel and products for families. She is also a Work-from-home-mom who manages marketing and social media for a local accounting company.

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