The People I'm Thankful for as a Special Needs Parent


Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to reflect on all we are grateful for. It’s also an ideal time to give thanks to the people in our lives who truly make a difference. As a mom to two children with special needs, I am constantly saying thank you.

Thank you to the pediatricians, doctors and nurses. Thank you to my children’s geneticist, dietician and genetic counselor. Thank you to their teachers, therapists and early interventionists. Thank you to family, friends and co-workers. I make it a point to always thank these individuals every time I see them.

There are other people who may not play as big of a role in my daily life, but I am so thankful to them for the impact they have had on my children’s lives.

To the nurse who does newborn screenings: You saved my child’s life. With a few drops of blood from her big toe, you were able to identify a genetic condition before a crisis occurred. That screening led to a life-saving early intervention. You were the first person who directly saved my daughter’s life. I don’t know you, but I want to thank you!

To Doug at the state health department: Each month, I call you and place an order for formula. Each month, you take my order and have the medications delivered on time. You have never let me down, and the confidence I have in you getting me their formula on time eases my stress and eliminates just another thing to worry about. I have never met you, but I want to thank you!

To the UPS delivery man/woman: You travel through rain, sleet, snow, heat and every other weather condition to make sure my children receive their formula, medication and supplies on time. Living in Chicago, you never know what weather to expect. No matter what the conditions are, I know you do your best so I can take care of my children’s needs. What may seem like just another package to you is keeping my children alive and well. For that I want to thank you!

There are so many people who may think they are just doing their jobs and have no idea the impact they are having on others. I am grateful for every medical student with dreams of saving the world. I am grateful for the high school students who held a bake sale and gave their donations to the Propionic Acidemia Foundation. I am grateful for the technicians working endless hours in the lab to create the medications and cures for diseases affecting our children. The list goes on and on.

No job is too small — every job matters! And I am forever grateful.

Image via Thinkstock.

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