There is so much misunderstanding and biased behavior toward persons with developmental disabilities. Not only do we parents take on the challenges of supporting our loved ones with the therapies, resources, and accommodations necessary to maximize their achievement and wellbeing, but we also undertake the challenges and burdens of educating the mainstream about the realities and potentials of living with disabilities and differences. We share the roles of teacher, therapist, champion, and advocate in addition to the broad responsibilities of parenthood.
But through these roles, we parents have also been gifted with amazing experiences and realizations that typical people are not fortunate enough to comprehend or share:
- We have learned what is truly important in life
- Nothing is taken for granted
- We celebrate every victory, no matter how small
- We find joy in the simple things
- We appreciate every milestone achieved
- Our other children are more sensitive, patient, and appreciative
- We have met hundreds of incredible, talented, and compassionate people we would never have otherwise been privileged to know:
- Therapists, educators, mentors, and other special needs families that have changed and enhanced our lives and futures
In other words, we have found the blessings in raising children with special needs. Through trials and challenges, we have bonded and been nourished.
To all parents of children with differences, thank you for your positive spirit and resilience! It is our collective hope and strength that keeps us moving forward to achieve the maximum potential and happiness for our children.