I found a great website that has a lot of adaptive equipment. Car seats, harnesses for the car, seatbelt buckle guards-all of this can be found at this site.
Have you ever had one of those days? I’m not talking about bad-hair days or days when you lose your keys and wind up being late for work. I’m talking about days when your Autism Spectrum kids are melting down at the same time, your Spina Bifida child hasn’t urinated in eight hours and might need a catheter, your husband is in bed sick, and you can’t move without pain because your fibromyalgia is in full gear. My normally unpredictable day has turned into a series of chaotic events that shatter the fragile peace and leave the shambles of my eventful life raining down around me like ash after an eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. All of you parents of children with Autism know what I’m talking about, don’t you?
You might ask, “How do you keep your sanity?” First, I have to give credit to God. He gets me through each day. I couldn’t do this without Him. Without His peace, love, and guidance I would have been a greasy smudge on the road of life a long time ago. My husband would be next on the list. He’s the only one on this earth who knows exactly what I’m going through; exactly what it feels like. The third on my list would be my mom. I talk to her every day, usually more than once, and she lends me her ear, her empathy, and her experience as a teacher.
I encourage everyone to find someone who will listen to you vent, who won’t run away when things get messy-and they do get messy. If you have a hard time getting away from home, like me, online communities are great. It’s helpful to see that you are not alone in the obstacles you are facing as a parent of a special-needs child. There are forums for Spina Bifida, Autism, Tourette's Syndrome, Sensory Processing Disorder, and many other diagnoses. There are also local support groups who meet all over the U.S. and they are a great resource for us.
I think the most important thing for me is feeling like I'm not alone in the fight for my children. Sharing information, talking about the challenges we face, and helping those who are in situations similar to our own is very therapeutic and fulfilling. Please remember today: you are not alone; there is someone who cares.
I knew life wouldn't be easy. My parents taught me that at a young age. They prepared me as best they could for life by teaching me lessons that I put into use every day. My mom taught me how to take care of a family, cook on a budget, and keep house. My dad taught me to take pride in what I do, to do things right the first time, and to finish what I start. I learned patience, diligence, and tenacity as I grew up on eighteen acres in the country. I learned to work hard in everything I did and my desire for perfection drove me on through challenges and adversity.
Even though I grew up knowing life wouldn't be easy or fair, I still didn't know life could be like this. I mean, where in the annals of literature was it ever suggested that life could be this way, this hard, this exhausting, this confusing? I have the pleasure of being the mother of three special-needs children. I have two in the Autism Spectrum and one that was born with a form of Spina Bifida. Each child is a blessing and each child teaches me something new every day. Along with the joy my children bring to each day comes the physical, mental, and emotional challenges.
No one ever explained to me that life could be this complicated. No one ever told me how fulfilling it could be raising special-needs children, either. We celebrate milestones other parents take for granted. We get excited at prolonged eye contact and repeated interactions. We dance a jig when some abstract concept is understood or body language is interpreted correctly. We dance a 'Potty Dance' when our daughter with Spina Bifida is able to go potty, which does not happen often.
I have been struck with the realization that parents like me need someone to identify with; somewhere to go where you can see that another parent struggles with the same things you do. I'm hoping that, through this blog, you will see that you aren't alone in the wide and uncertain world that special-needs parents live in. I hope that in sharing some of our incidents with you that you might find a reason to laugh.
Please check out our new page titled, "Stephanie's Helpful Hints," where I share some things I have found to work in regards to issues that come up with Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder.
Have a great day!
I am a mom to three special-needs kids. Writing about my experiences is something new I'm embarking on. I hope my musings help, not only me, but someone else out there who walks in shoes similar to my own.