I'm Not Special Because I Have A Child With a Disability


Frequently as a parent of a child with a disability, I hear people say, “You must be a special person because of your child with ‘special needs.'” Or, “There is no way I could do what you do,” referring to taking care of my child.

I’m just a mom.

I’m not a special person because my son has autism. My son’s autism or any of his other issues don’t make me special. It doesn’t grant me superhuman powers of patience or increase my tolerance for overwhelming situations. I was not magically gifted with knowing how to advocate educationally and medically for my son.

I am not special.

I am just a mom who loves her son like you love yours. I have the same general weaknesses and strengths as any other person. If you had a child with disabilities, you would find that you would be doing the same things I am. Because you love your child, and because you really have no other choice.

The person who is special is my son. Children without disabilities can have a fun and carefree childhood. Children like my son spend their days working on things that we take for granted. Instead of spending his afternoons after school playing, his afternoons for years have been filled with therapy. Evenings are filled with medical procedures, and he needs an early bedtime due to his sleeping issues.

So here’s to all the fighters out there like my son, who work hard to get through a day in a world that does not always understand them.

A version of this story originally appeared on An Ordinary Mom.

Getty image by Ohnodesign


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


Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder

Boy with autism looking through kaleidoscope

There Is Beauty in My Son's Autism

My son’s name is Rowan. His name means “little red one.” When I think what that might mean, I see fire, strength, intensity and a force to be reckoned with. How fitting for my son. He is all of those things and more. Rowan is 6 years old and diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, among [...]

What I Want You to Know About My Daughter With Autism

There are many things I wish I could tell people about my daughter on the autisticsSpectrum. Whenever we’re out and about, I wish I could simply hold up a sign, or be able to look at people and silently give them the rundown. Out in public, I wish I had a personal assistant that could [...]
Mother and son at an amusement park

Why I'm Done Apologizing for My Son Who Is on the Autism Spectrum

I say it again and again. But, I shouldn’t. I don’t know why I can’t seem to stop myself. Why do I seem to care so much about what everyone else thinks when it comes to my son’s needs? I won’t do it anymore. I won’t apologize for me or for my son. The sign [...]

5 Ways you can Support A Family With a Child on the Autism Spectrum

Getting a diagnosis of autism for your child can come with a flood of various emotions, thoughts and reactions. Every parent responds uniquely, and every child with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder has their own individual set of sensory, social, communicative or behavioral tendencies. When my son was diagnosed, I struggled with the feeling [...]