Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Special Needs Parenting: I don’t have time if you don't believe in Aliens and Unicorns

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"A friend once said I was delusional and I almost fell off my unicorn."

As special needs parents have a profound understanding of reality.  We never underestimate the seriousness of our child's condition nor are we delusional or in denial about our child's condition or prognosis.  We can fully accept what lies before us and yet know with certainty that there is always the potential for continued recovery and improvement.   We are a community that often believes in the impossible.  Aliens and Unicorns?  Sure.  Why not?  In our world anything is possible. 

So why is it so hard for others to support our desires not to shut the door on the realm of possibilities?  

The main problem being is that many people want special needs parents to take "Hope" out of the equation.  They discourage us from considering "cures, miracles, recovery or improvement."   And if we stand our ground and shout from the rooftops how we believe in our child and know they are capable of accomplishing great things eyes roll as if we've just told them we've shook hands with an alien all the while riding on our glitter covered unicorn.   We are not crazy.  We are not just dreamers.  We are balancers of hope, faith and the knowledge that anything is possible. 

Dismal predictions are a dime a dozen.  It’s the theory that you should prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario at all times and if it turns out better than you are simply pleasantly surprised.   If we were to operate under the assumption that this was as good as things were going to get for our child with special needs, we could never be the effective cheerleaders that our children need us to be.  
There is a quote by Cherie Carter-Scott, that I feel defines the spirit of a special needs parent:

 “Ordinary people believe only in the possible.  Extraordinary people visualize not what is possible or probable, but rather what is impossible.  And by visualizing the impossible, they begin to see it as possible.”

By embracing what we are told is impossible for our children, we begin to see endless possibilities.  We do not see things how they are now on the special needs journey, but how they could be at some point down the road.  It’s okay he’s not walking by age two, because maybe he will at age, five  - seven – ten.  It’s never out of the question. 

We understand that no matter what the probabilities and odds may be of any accomplishments our children are capable of fulfilling in their lifetime, that there is the tiniest percentage of chance that things could be in our child’s favor then that is where our focus remains. 

Special needs parents find comfort in the fact that the unexpected can and does happen
If there is an 80 percent chance that our child may never be verbal or walk then it is equally 80 percent possible for it to occur.  If there is the slightest chance, then there is a possibility. 

If we do not believe that our children are capable of great things, then we will lack the ability to pick up on whatever it is that needs to be done in order to nudge its occurrence into tangible existence. Literally anything is possible – including aliens and unicorns. 


Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.