Being the mother of a special needs child can be challenging.
It can be exhausting.
It has many, many amazing rewards while at the same time it can be so very difficult.
Your child needs you in every way a typical child does in terms of meeting their basic needs, structure, discipline, and sharing time together, but there is also so much more.
Medical appointments, medication, developmental delays, therapy, orthotics, stretching, exercises, IEPs, and research, can consume a great deal of your time and energy.
The additional responsibility of being you child’s advocate, consistently fighting for what your child needs to excel, can be daunting.
Mom guilt abounds in an entirely new way.
Did I cause this?
I didn’t do her exercises today.
We forgot to stretch lefty.
I didn’t let her struggle to dress herself.
I enabled her at the dinner table.
She’s running around barefoot instead of wearing her braces.
We haven’t practiced handwriting.
The constant struggle of discerning when to help and when to stand back and let her struggle wears me down.
And then you find that person who helps shoulder the load.
A person who listens to all your worries and concerns.
A person who helps you navigate this life with a special needs child.
This week we took a moment to thank that very special person for everything she does to help our Gabby.
Below is the letter I wrote (from Gabrielle’s perspective) to our very favorite Physical Therapist (Betsy Murphy) at Abilitations Children’sTherapy. http://www.actwc.com/
I love you. I like your hugs and kisses. I love how you always have a smile on your face. I have lots of fun playing games with you every week. I know that sometimes you make me work very hard so I can get stronger and do things for myself. You are good at figuring out when I’m being silly to avoid doing my exercises. I sometimes hear you trying not to laugh at my antics. You do a great job of pushing me. I know you really want me to grow up to be the very best I can be.
My mommy loves you too. She says you are the best therapist around. She says you don’t help children like me just for the money. Mommy says you really care. Mommy thinks being the parent of a special needs child can be challenging. But she told me that you make her job soooo much easier. She thinks you’re a wonderful advocate for me. You even know how to wipe away “mom guilt”.
Mommy and I want to thank you for everything you’ve done to help me become a confident and independent little girl who runs, jumps, climbs, and soars to new places every year. You are amazing!