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What No One Told Us About Raising a Child With Complex Needs

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As parents who have a child with complex needs, we go through stages after the realization that something is different with our child. We went through stages of grief, self-blame, depression. There were some dark times, which I now look back on as missed opportunities to see the fullness of what our son brought to our lives. There is no hand holding by anyone, no one telling you this is going to be a journey that teaches you something every day. No one tells you that each day will bring a gift, whether it’s in the form of a difficult barrier, or in the form of pure joy on your child’s face. Every. Single. Day. is a chance to learn more about yourself as a person and as a parent. No one tells us that this journey could wear you down, but only if you allow it to.

Our son has taught us many valuable lessons over the last eight years, too many to count. I can honestly say this young man, my boy, is the guide in our life’s journey. Without him, we would not be who we are. He is here to tell us how to be. How to be with ourselves, how to be to others, how to root ourselves in the moment and when to slow down. He is the strongest and most unique person we know.

He was born with a gift. The gift of teaching and professing to others about love, joy, strength and self-reflection, without speaking a single word.

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Stock photo by Keith Brofsky

Originally published: October 26, 2016
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