I’m a Proud Therapy Mom
I am a proud Therapy Mom.
You may wonder, what is a Therapy Mom? Well, I’ll tell you – a mom who puts thousands of miles on the family mini-van driving her child with special needs to therapy appointment after therapy appointment; a woman who catches up with old acquaintances at pediatric medical/therapy offices because our kids’ appointments overlap; a working professional who takes conference calls in her mobile office while her child is working her little butt off in this or that session; a layperson with enough knowledge about a myriad of conditions and treatment options (she can hold her own with trained medical and therapeutic professionals). But mostly, I’m the mom of a child with special needs, a child who works so hard.
I’ll still use the accepted term of “special needs parent” or “autism mom,” but I prefer to refer to myself as a Therapy Mom. Just like a Soccer, Hockey or Swimming Mom proud of the effort, time and dedication her child devotes to a sport or activity – I’m proud of the time, energy and dedication my daughter devotes to mastering skills that come naturally to most and overcoming obstacles that most of the world doesn’t understand — all while enriching the life of so many people.
I don’t want to glamorize the life of being the mom of a child with special needs because it is hard — the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But I do want share my pride and joy in being Caroline’s Mom. Being the mother to Caroline has challenged me and forced me to grow in ways I never considered before I donned the label “special needs parent.” There are parts of being a special needs parent that will cause the strongest amongst us to ask our deity of choice for the wherewithal to provide for our children, for the restraint to do no harm during an IEP meeting, for forgiveness for the combination of words we used when “talking” to the insurance company, for the energy to make it through another day without sleep, and for patience – for just about everything.
I’m a Therapy Mom, the proud mother of a wonderful daughter who works hard at aquatic, behavioral, equine, feeding, music, occupational, physical and speech therapy. Every day she amazes me with the new skills she acquires and the obstacles she’s able to overcome. Just because Caroline has to work hard at things that may come easily to other people should not and will not diminish my respect and admiration for her work ethic. Nor will it stop me from sharing all of her wonderful achievements in and out of therapy.
I don’t mind listening when other parents share stories about their children’s latest accomplishments, but I frequently feel when I share Caroline’s people are uncomfortable or unsettled by the fact that I want to celebrate a milestone which may have occurred four years later than most typically developing children.To me that’s all the more reason to celebrate – she put in four more years of work.
I will celebrate with you when your child wins the state championship for whatever sport or makes honor roll; all I ask in return is that when a Therapy Mom shares her child’s accomplishments, you don’t diminish it or refuse to engage in the conversation. I am a proud Therapy Mom because my daughter gets it done every. day.
Are you a proud therapy mom or dad?
The Mighty is asking the following: Share with us the moment you stood up for yourself or your child in regards to disability or disease, or a moment you wish you had? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Share Your Story page for more about our submission guidelines.