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Why Parents of a Special Needs Child are Wonderful!

Updated on September 10, 2013
Kristine Manley profile image

Kris Manley is a blogger, author, and speaker. She's a guest on radio in the U.S., Canada, and overseas, as well as a guest on network TV.

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When I was in college I was a nanny for an agency, and I had the pleasure of caring for some special needs children. The children were mentally challenged, physically challenged, some had mild learning disabilities or had chronic illnesses. The children's daily schedules were carefully planned. There were timed medications, naps, certain foods to be eaten, breathing machines, tube feedings, therapy sessions, specific equipment tailored to the child, and specially equipped vehicles to consider just to name a few. Refrigerators in these children's homes were plastered with schedule boards and some parents used a wall with chalk board paint to map out items that needed to be done for their children. These routines were daily and I wondered how in the world do these parents function or manage to rest after they have worked all day? I realized that this is their world and that I got to go home at the end of the day. I certainly did not have anything to complain about. To me these parents are unsung superheros with nerves of steel, unending patience, and tireless energy. Dads and Moms turn into taxi drivers taking their children to therapy sessions and doctors appointments. They sometimes handle heavy equipment and even have their vehicles altered to accommodate the equipment as well as purchase special vehicles that may put a strain on the family budget, but is necessary for their child. Parents have even had to purchase new homes that would accommodate their special needs child with wheelchair ramps, renovated bathrooms with large shower stalls and support bars, wide doorways and hallways, etc. We salute you.


We also salute parents who make the decision to adopt children with special needs. I assisted some parents who were foster parents to special needs children first before they made the decision to adopt them. Most of the families I spent time with had ranch style homes.

I watched as parents meticulously found the right resources and services for their children and also interview caregivers because they needed several to depend on. I spent several weekends with a family of a special needs child and our sleep was in stages because of feedings, changing soiled clothes, or checking in on the child when we heard them on their monitor and wanted to make sure they were alright. Some children had to be turned because they were unable to turn over themselves. Some Moms and Dads had extended family that would step in and assist with a child's care as well as some really great friends who helped as well. I also took note of how parents juggled time with the needs of their special needs child and a child that was not special needs.

I enjoyed my time as a nanny and would do it all over again. In my book, parents of special needs children are wonderful.

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    • Kristine Manley profile image
      Author

      Donna Kristine 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi Cari Jean, God bless you, your husband and your daughter. I can imagine what a blessing your precious daughter is to you and your husband. I am glad to hear of your great support system your family has in Easter Seals. Thank you

    • Cari Jean profile image

      Cari Jean 5 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      This is a beautifully written hub. I am the mother of a special-needs daughter and my husband and I feel so blessed to have her! She brings so much joy to us and others around her. We have been very thankful over the years for a great support system which includes trained professionals staffed by Easter Seals to come into our home to help care for her. I think it is truly wonderful that parents adopt special needs children as well. Thanks again for a great hub!

    • Kristine Manley profile image
      Author

      Donna Kristine 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi Denise, Thank you and I agree with you that these individuals do go unnoticed in our society. Your nephew has a very special Auntie (SMILE).

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Kristine-this is a lovely hub paying tribute to people who are often unnoticed in their daily routine. I have a nephew I am currently raising who is EI. It is not an easy challenge, but I do my best to think of his needs and try to find the right help for him. Thanks for a wonderful hub.

    • Kristine Manley profile image
      Author

      Donna Kristine 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi Christina, I'm glad I found you too on Hubpages, and I so agree with you that what we do for others will come back to us. I enjoy doing for others and was a foster parent, and now I'm taking care of my Mom. I look forward to reading your Hubs and sharing them with others.

      Be Blessed too. Kris

    • CMCastro profile image

      Christina M. Castro 6 years ago from Baltimore,MD USA

      Hello Kristine, I am very glad I found you as you are now a follower of my hubs. We write about the same things. Check out my hubs- "My Nursing Care for Special Needs Children", "Parents That Give Children A Chance", and "A New Family To Live With- An Adopted Child's Perspective". All these hubs were inspired by the same topic, Special Needs kids. I do agree with you that parents of special needs children are very wonderful. I know from my experiences, that I have grown to understand the value of life and what we do for others will come back to us. Be blessed. Christina