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10 Signs That You Are a Special Needs Parent

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When my son was diagnosed with Smith-Magenis syndrome (SMS), family and friends reminded me that he hadn’t really changed. Although he may have been the same baby I had fallen in love with, I had endured a major transformation —  I was now a special needs mom. 

moms at the park

How did I know I was different from my fellow “Mommy and Me” acquaintances? The top 10 clues are listed below.

Top 10 Signs That You Are a Special Needs Parent:

10. You have watched three generations of “Barney and the Backyard Gang” grow up.

9. Your conversations contain more acronyms than a military SOP (standard operating procedure).

8. You know that white vinegar gets “the smell” out of clothes, bleach gets “the stain” out of clothes, and bad things happen if you accidentally mix vinegar and bleach.

7. Most of your phone contacts are your child’s teachers, aides, school secretary, bus drivers, doctors and therapists.

6. You know it always comes down to two choices: laugh or cry.

5. You never leave home without a “plan B.” Sometimes, even a “plan C.”

4. Your house has more locks and alarms than Fort Knox.

3. You find yourself using sign language without even realizing it.

3. You kick yourself for not having the foresight to invent Clorox bleach wipes.

3. You are so exhausted your “Top Ten List” has twelve items because you wrote  the number three a total of three times.

2. Your retirement plans include three people, not two.

1. And the number one clue that lets you know that you are a special needs parent is when your absolute, very best friends are those parents who have a child with the same syndrome, disability or condition as yours. And you cannot imagine your life without them.

older brothers and young kids at the park

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Originally published: April 16, 2015
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