Stories From the Heart: You Are Not Alone

You are not alone– These words may have several meanings depending on where you happen to be in the process of accepting your child’s diagnosis.

If you have recently learned the facts regarding your child’s condition, I’m sure you feel like the only parent in the world that has a child with a disability. You’re doing everything and anything to just get you and your family through these days; you’re in what I call “survival mode”.

Your days are spent with multiple doctor appointments that you don’t completely understand, you’re trying your best to focus on all of terminology that professionals are using to describe your child, and at the same time, you are doing your best to stay strong for your entire family. When you are in public, doing the things that you did before the disability, everything and everyone around you seem a little surreal, and you’re wondering how the world can possibly be going on when your world has stopped.  You think to yourself, don’t all these people see this great big sign on my forehead that says “parent of a child with a disability”?

You are not alone.

Or maybe you have been at this for a little while and you have started to accept the fact that the child you dreamt of before he or she came into your world is not the child you are caring for, and that’s OK—you’re doing everything in your power to get the services your child needs, at any cost–you are willing and ready to pay.  You’re sacrificing everything you knew before this precious human being came along, and you don’t mind one bit.

You are not alone.

And maybe you are a special parent that has had a few years experience, and you know that you know that the person your child is today is the person he or she was meant to be. Your child, because of his uniqueness, has touched the lives of so very many people that he has had contact with over the years, but the life he has changed more than anyone, is yours.  This beautiful person that you have been caring for has reshaped the make-up of your heart.  You are continually growing as a person because of all the challenging life experiences you have had the privilege to learn. You were chosen to be a special parent and you are so very proud of the parent that you have become thanks to your very special child.

You are not alone.

Wherever you are currently in raising your child, I feel it is so very important for you to know that there have been so many special parents that came before you that you can learn from, but more importantly, that there are many new special parents that you can encourage, reassure and support like no one else in their life can.  I feel we have a responsibility to seek each other out through support groups and organizations-local and on-line, and through our neighbourhoods and schools.

Regardless of the name of the delay or disability, the feelings are all the same, and it is vital that we all help one another, so whenever we need to hear the words you are not alone, someone will be there to say them.

By Maria Spencer

* Stories From the Heart is an ongoing series of user contributed heart warming stories, that shine light on the Autism and special needs experience.

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