Parenting Special Needs

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Storms ahead

Do you ever stumble upon very old triggers you had long since forgotten?

I didn't know that my ex was signing my daughter up for softball again until it was done. My daughter played one year of tee-ball after kindergarten. She's in fifth grade now and the other girls kept playing and being coached by Uber competitive dad's, my daughter didn't. My daughter has spent time in and out of hospitals for medical conditions. Those girls might have broken a bone once.

I grew up like those girls. I never had a broken bone. I played sports, multiple teams a year, as often as possible. I had drawers full of jerseys and shelves full of trophies, plaques, ribbons, and awards. I loved the fun part, hustled at the work part, but never spent more than a few days feeling like I fit in or was good enough no matter how much I practiced or cared. No matter how great my stats were for a game or season, I was always disappointed that I didn't do better.

My parents tried, but they were rarely ever there at games or practices. They were working or running to get dinner or handle my siblings. But other parents would tell them about my performance when they did show up.

I had forgotten all about this. The competitive days when I didn't like myself no matter how good I was or wasn't. I had put it behind me. When my daughter didn't want to play sports anymore and quit everything she ever tried, I let her, because no one ever allowed me to quit. I was forced to keep being "that girl" that my mother never had the chance to be.

Now, my ex has her involved in a sport neither he, nor his new wife know anything about. Neither does my daughter, but I do. When I told the coach we hadn't known where the place was, he had to stop himself from laughing in front of everyone.

My daughter loved the practice and just being around kids because she's online schooled do to her illnesses. She was so happy to be with kids again, she didn't notice her asthma creeping up on her as practice ended.

I didn't notice how much I hated being back amongst these competitive jerks who just can't imagine having a kid who doesn't know where the little league fields are. They're daughter's complain if they "have to practice on field #2 !"

I used to be one of those kids. I don't like them and I didn't like being like them. And, now I worry that my daughter is headed for heartbreak, because of these people.

My ex and his wife had no idea what they were signing her up for. Now, I have to be the parent who carries her through this, but it's a trigger for me as well. I have so much baggage from this. How do I help her without triggering me?

#Anxiety #Depression #PTSD #GeneralParenting #Parenting
#ParentingSpecialNeeds #Asthma #triggers

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Sheer rock face

No matter what feelings I refuse to show during the day. Sometimes at night, I just can't be as stone faced as that rock in the picture.

Some nights, I feel more like that tree. I think through things over and over, or I just feel empty. Realistically, I am just out of energy, but still feel responsible for everything, everyone, and all interpretations of every word, thought, or expression that I made that day.

My husband and I were watching Star Trek: Discovery the other day. One character looked at the lead character and said, "You hoard responsibility." My husband and I burst out laughing, because that is so very me.

I am a maverick with a strong sense of duty and responsibility. I'm not good at being told what to do if I don't agree with it, but if I do, I'll move heaven, earth, and hell to get it done.

I don't know. Maybe all the silly things I worry and feel so bad and disappointed about don't really matter. But, I do know one thing, if some part of me deems something worthy of my efforts, I won't quit. I can only hope that is enough.

They tell me 90% of life is showing up. I guess we'll see...

#CPTSD #PTSD #Anxiety #Depression #Recovery #Hope #GeneralizedAnxietyDisorder #Parenting #ParentingSpecialNeeds

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Mom, when is it time to take care of your needs

In a time when we are exhausted by the world we live in, this event reminds us of where we need to start in order to get back to ourselves. Take a look at the lineup:

:: Where Your Strength Lives
:: Raising Special Needs Siblings: Challenges + Opportunities
:: Workouts that Work for YOU
:: The Healing Power of Gratitude
:: How 2 Simple Mindfulness Tools Can Help Your GUT
:: Easing the Stress of Traveling with Special Needs Children
:: How to Overcome Emotional Eating
:: Understanding Yourself (and Your Parenting) Through The Enneagram
:: Home & Life: From Overwhelmed To Simplified
:: Sympathy Chores or Character Building: How to know what is too much or too little for your children
:: Legal Things Moms Need To Know: When Your Child Isn't A Child Under The Law
:: Caring For the Caregiver
:: School-Based Supports + Accommodations: Procedural and Clinical Tips
:: Navigating the Medical System
:: Self-Care Journaling for Busy Moms
:: Pilates: Perfecting Form to Support for a Busy Mom
:: Grit, Grace & Grief
#Parenting #mom #ParentingSpecialNeeds

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The Decisions We Make

My daughter Em, short for Emily, has cerebral palsy. She had eye surgery last week and it reminded me of the first time she had surgery for her g-tube when she was four months ago.

Today I published this story about those experiences:

#CerebralPalsy #COVID19 #Surgery #Parenting #ParentingSpecialNeeds #ParentsOfChildrenWithSpecialNeeds


Do you ever think about what could’ve been?

I love and appreciate my son for the incredible person he is. Almost 6 years after his diagnosis, I’ve grown into acceptance and appreciation for him and all he has taught me. Still, every now and then, even for just a second, the question “I wonder what could’ve been?” creeps into my thoughts and then vanishes as quickly as it came. I don’t live in that space, but it beckons me from time to time. Anyone else? #Autism #Parenting #ParentingSpecialNeeds

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When Water is Deafening

Tonight was bath night in our house. My three boys take turns going first in the shower on each of our bath nights, and tonight was Nico’s night to go last. Nico asked to go first, and it was agreed upon, but my 6-year old reminded me it was his turn. Trying to play fair for all involved, I told Nico he would not be going first. After a long day at school, Nico was pushed to the point of a meltdown at the news of his switch in order. He started banging loudly on the sink, biting his nails, his voice becoming elevated. When it was finally his turn in the shower, he tightly grabbed the bar in the shower and rocked, hard, back and forth. The forceful frustration fueling his rocking slowly gave way to a fascination in how the water ran down his arms, and the rocking continued. What started as a move to express frustration morphed into a move to instead soothe. Now, silence, just me and my son, and the water from the shower head.

This silence, it gripped me. It threw me. My son, 8-years old, tall for his age. Somehow, his Autism looked the same to me in that moment as it did when he was 2. I helped him wash his hair, thinking about how time on the spectrum seems to pass so slowly, and even though your child can grow by leaps and bounds, some days feel the same. These thoughts, they were deafening. I began to reflect on my place in all of this, feelings bubbling to the surface. In another 8 years, things will look different, and things will look the same. I sighed and look at Nico, who was now silent, still rocking. The water was turned off, and Nico, head down, stepped out of the shower. I wrapped him in a towel as he lay his head on my shoulder, coming down and finding comfort in me. I am his comfort. A loud silence, once again, bubbling truths all around me. I hugged him, and we carried on with our evening. The water from the shower-deafening. #Autism #AutismAwareness #ParentingAutism #ParentingSpecialNeeds #Parenting #SpecialNeeds

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Need encouragement #CowdenSyndrome #schoolisout #Caregiver #ASD #ParentingSpecialNeeds

School is on two week hiatus (only to come back to then go out for thanksgiving) my son is disregulated from this lack of schedule . I’m an ok enough mom, but I stink at special Ed school teacher. Everything is crumbling around me because every thing I’ve got is thrown in to this impossible job .. I have nothing to put into cooking cleaning and parenting the others... #encouragement #spent #allusedup #no one understands

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She Struggles With Remote Learning #ParentingSpecialNeeds

You can see it on her face as she focuses on the screen. You can read the disappointment in the pouting of her lips. Her friends, her people, her adored teacher, who last year made learning fun, are so so close. But they might as well be a million miles away from her. She begs me not to do Zoom meetings asking me “how long do I have to be in Zoom? I don’t want to mom,” before the class even starts. None of this my darling is how it should be. Learning should not take place in little confined boxes on a borrowed Chrome book. And I mourn with her this lost year, leaving space for her to feel. #onlineschool #School #COVID19 #childhoodmentalhealth #Sadness #lostyear

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Remote Learning Week 5 #SpecialNeedsParenting

I’m hanging on tightly to the thoughts that bring my joy this morning as we begin week 5 remote learning. It helps the sun is shining. The sun always helps. I keep reminding myself I can do hard things. So here we go...#Anxiety #Depression #ADHD #Tourettes #OCD #ParentingSpecialNeeds #distancelearning #remotelearning #COVID19 #SensoryProcessingDisorder


How is remote learning going? #ParentingSpecialNeeds

My name is Carissa, and I have four kiddos (3 on IEPs). We are currently going to begin week 5 of remote learning. is the hardest thing I've ever done. I just wrote an article for the Mighty that will be published on this topic. If you are struggling like me...remember to give yourself grace and you are not alone in your struggle! #remotelearning #distancelearning #SpecialNeedsParenting #Mentalhealthselfcare