I See You There, Special Needs Parent

I see you there.

I see you in the doctor’s office trying to figure out what is wrong with your child. I see the worry on your face. I see the heartbreak you are feeling but trying not to show. I see the brave face you put on to your child and the world. I see your struggle as you wonder where to go from here.

You are a special needs parent.

You never thought this would happen to you. You don’t know anything about “the system” or how to navigate your way through it so your child can have everything he or she needs. You have no one to talk to, no one that really understands. You rejoice at every new thing your child does, no matter how small it may seem to others, because it is HUGE to you. You try to find others who are like your child, so they know that they are not so strange. They are beautiful and you want them to KNOW that. I see everything that you have given up. I know this may include a job, friends and family you always thought would be by your side. I see the sleepless nights, filled with worry. I see the smile on your face when you think about the day and everything your child accomplished.

You have a special needs kid.

All this really means, when you get right down to it, is that you are a fierce and protective parent who stands up for your child, no matter the cost to you. I see you fighting back the urge to punch someone in the face when they stare at your child. Don’t they see that they are beautiful? Don’t they realize that sound they just made was a “I am happy to see you” sound? I see you fighting with the doctors because you know your child better than anyone else. I see you going to the hospital every month (or more) because your child is sick, and their bodies are fighting so hard. I see the mixed feelings you have EVERY DAY because you love your child more than words can say, but sometimes you just want the pain to go away! Sometimes you just want them to be normal. I see you wondering what that would be like… if only they were normal.

I see you there, you special needs parent.

You’re doing a great job! I see you shaking your head with doubt, but it’s true. Your child knows that YOU love them, just for who they are. I see your struggle, your joy and your pain because I am there too. I hear your cries. I see the tears of joy. You are not in the alone. YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB! And your child is thriving because of you!   

tracy and her family


This post originally appeared on X-linked.

Meet more Mighty parents. Like us on Facebook.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Other

What Did I Lose by Choosing to Be An Older Dad?

On the cusp of 47, an age when most of my peers are shipping kids off to college, buying fun modes of transportation, planning long-delayed vacations, awaiting grandchildren they can play with and give back at the end of the day, I’m changing diapers for two kids and being reminded that my infant son, Tyler, [...]

Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor Marries Nurse Who Helped Him Through Rehabilitation

When James Costello was injured in the Boston Marathon bombing, he never guessed it would be the start to his own personal love story. But on Saturday, he exchanged “I dos” with the nurse who helped him with his rehabilitation. Prudente Photography Costello was standing near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April [...]

6 Secrets Special Needs Moms Know but Won't Tell You

I am a special needs mom. And I have secrets. Things I don’t talk about and stuff that other moms don’t know or may have forgotten along the way. 1. Special needs moms are lonely. I yearn for more time with friends and family. Authentically, I have a positive attitude and most often you see [...]

Acid Attack Survivors Star in Stunning Photo Shoot

The beautiful young women in the photos below typically hid from the camera after vicious acid attacks left them with facial scars. Not anymore. New Delhi photographer Rahul Saharan, 24,  brought Rupa, Laxmi, Sonam and Chanchal in front of the lens to show what life after an acid attack looks like and how survivors can [...]