Saturday, December 12, 2015

Changing Our Perspectives: Parenting Children with Disabilities

The stories shared about parents of children with disabilities are often grim, heartbreaking, sorrowful and a dozen other negative adjectives. True, life can be difficult when a child has special needs but it can also be extremely rewarding. We need to share more of our positive stories so that other parents know that it's going to be okay. There is light at the end of the tunnel even if we don't always see it. 

When I tell people that both of my sons have autism, I usually hear the same sympathetic phrase uttered: "Oh I'm so sorry. " I used to smile politely, knowing that they meant well but one day I realized that I was contributing to negative perceptions by not responding.

So now when people say how sorry they are that my sons have autism, I tell them "There's nothing to be sorry about." I share with them how amazingly well my kids are doing and how proud I am of their accomplishments.

Even if my boys have setbacks or bad days, so do "typically" developing kids. It's a normal part of childhood. I want people to walk away with a sense that having a child with a disability is NOT a tragedy.

#children #disabilities #parenting #perspective

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