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To the Special Needs Parent Who Feels They're Not Doing Enough

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Dear special needs parent,

Maybe you just saw a picture of a child younger than yours achieving a milestone you dream of your child reaching. Your mind fills with a multitude of thoughts; you begin to question your efforts as a parent. The doubt fogs your mind and you can no longer see clearly. You ask yourself, “Am I doing enough?”

Let me reassure you:

You are doing enough.

Maybe you are at home with your child wanting to help him/her, but you have no formal training in any specific therapy. You question what you are doing, and wonder if it’s exactly what you were shown by his/her therapist. You wish there were a class you could take to make you any and all types of therapists as soon as possible.

You are doing enough.

Maybe you are not a trained medical professional, yet you must become an expert in various domains. You rely on neurologists, cardiologists, ophthalmologists, surgeons, nephrologists, orthopedists, GI doctors, etc. as guidance to make life-altering decisions, and wonder about the future of your child and family.

You are doing enough.

Maybe you have other children or are pregnant with another child, and you worry they’re not getting what they need, because you can’t be everything to everyone all the time. You may have a significant other
or spouse, and wish you had more time to devote to each other. Your friendships are changing and you are left feeling alone.

You are doing enough.

Maybe your life is consumed with all things related to your child. You feel guilty. You hardly sleep anymore. You don’t remember the last time you went a day without saying the name of your child’s
diagnosis, if you know it, or his/her list of symptoms if you don’t.

You are doing enough.

You have done enough that your child is able to do the skills he or she has already mastered. You have done enough that over time, your child will accomplish more than others may have thought possible. You have done enough in those many hours working with your child when the therapists aren’t around. You have done enough by mastering medical jargon you had no idea existed a short while ago. You are an exceptional parent, spouse, significant other, caregiver, and friend for being able to juggle all the balls that have been thrown at you.

There may be days along this journey that are dark and gloomy and fill your mind with doubts. Your path will not always be clear. However, take it from another special needs parent: no one is perfect, no one can do it better, and you, my friend, are doing enough.

Follow this journey on Sonya’s Story or on Facebook.


Originally published: August 8, 2016
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