15 Reasons Why Its Hard To Get Along With Special Needs Parents

Special Needs Parenting

Have you ever wondered why parents of kids with special needs always seem to be so cranky?

Or why we tend to make really inappropriate remarks so often?

Or why other parents of kids with special needs laugh at those inappropriate remarks like it’s an inside joke?

The Life We Live

Special needs parenting is a lifestyle.  For many of us, it is not the lifestyle we chose.  And even if we did choose to become a special needs family through adoption, there are still plenty of reasons to be cranky – and then joke about it later.

Here are 15 possible reasons to explain the mysterious behaviors of some special needs parents.

1. Already changed the sheets twice before 7am and cleaned excrement from some very creative and almost-inaccessible places.

2. Spouse drank the last cup of coffee in the house.  The rest of the coffee was dumped on the kitchen floor and eaten by an ecstatic child yesterday before it could be fully cleaned up.

3. Mixed the g-tube formula, fed daughter, cleaned up, got to school on time, then listened to the neighbor complaining that her 8 year old refused to eat broccoli at dinner last night.

4. Was up with a wide-awake child from 2am to 6am, then awakened by a phone call at 11:45 am.

5.  It was the pharmacy leaving a voice mail explaining that the medication refill will cost $500 out-of-pocket.  The medication is necessary for a life-threatening condition, so not refilling is not an option.

6. Just learned that the “zero tolerance for bullying” policy at school is actually a “we tolerate bullying unless your speech-impaired child gives us a name” policy.

7. Sent three polite, respectful e-mails so far today to the school team.  No more politeness remained after that.

8. 90 minute screaming meltdown 3 times per week – and we’re overdue for one, so it’ll probably be today.

9. Those meltdowns come with injuries.

10. All the remote controls in the house, including the garage door opener, have either been destroyed or have disappeared.

11. A person with good intentions said, “G-d chose you to be his parent because of your patience.”

12. Another person with good intentions said, “G-d only gives us what we can handle.”

13. While signing school papers, two kids were talking directly into each ear.

14. The child with a disability brushed his own teeth, dressed himself and tied his shoes while his able sibling refused to brush teeth, refused to get dressed and rolled on the ground instead of putting on shoes.

15. Had to decline a bunch of invitations to weddings and family reunions again this year.

Are you difficult to get along with today?  Why?

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  • GiftedWithADD

    Do you know about the Happy Mama Conference and Retreat? It was last weekend in Raleigh/Durham, N. Carolina. It was amazing. The moms were tigresses and also FULL of love. My favorite group of parents have special needs kids. I can’t say enough about your spirit and your determination. Thank you for all you do. You really are changing the world.

    Margit Crane

  • HeatherB

    I have a son with Reactive Attachment Disorder, ADHD and PTSD. I am sure there are more acronyms that will be piled on in the next couple of years. Certainly this is not an easy road. The thing that makes me want to punch people in the face above all others is, “Is he better?” OMG! These will be chronic, life-long problems he (and we) will struggle with. Certainly there are days/moments that are better than others, but he will never be well. Another favorite is when people say wise things like, “Parenting is hard”. I have used the analogy of somebody running a 5k telling somebody running an ultra marathon that running is hard. Of course both are hard, but 3.1 miles is nothing like 50-100 miles. Peace and love and a few minutes of time for yourselves is what I wish for you all today. Thanks for sharing in the journey.

  • Michele

    I have two autistic children, a boy,(9) and a girl (5). My favorite ignorant comment is “I don’t know how you do it.” Well, what is my alternative? (This is almost always said by someone who has never once offered to give me a hand once in a while. People don’t realize how just babysitting for an hour so that I can shop, take a nap, weed a flowerbed, or some other small thing would be so appreciated.) I also hate “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” Really, I wish he didn’t have such faith in my capabilities! I recently had a visit from a relative with 2 neuro-typical small children and was literally rolling my eyes whenever she complained about a “problem.” Your kids talk back? Be thankful that they can speak. They fight over who plays first with a toy? My kids don’t understand the concept of taking turns. I think I will make a new poster: “Keep calm and just wipe the crap off of the wall.” LOL!

    • demelzabunny

      Exactly! I agree w/you on every point, and can, unfortunately, relate to them as well. You get it. Too bad some many others don’t. Oh, well; that’s their problem.

  • http://www.drivingmissmummycrazy.com/ DrivingMissMummyCrazy

    Definitely feel for you!!! As a single mum to a little boy with Cerebral palsy … Sensory Processing Disorder and on the spectrum … I am all to familiar with every single point!!! <3 Sending you some patience & humour for what's left of the week :)

  • eris

    hows about the children of parent with special needs, a mum with depression., alcoholism, aspergers and dyspraxia does not a happy childhood make….

  • Chava Cannon

    I agree, and smiled ear to ear reading this. I look back at it now, and it was that plus so much more. I have fond memories and have become so much stronger because of my life with my boy. I was blessed with him for 16 years after which he passed. I miss him dearly even with everything I had to do for him and go through. I now snicker at the folks crying over a broken fingernail, or complaining about not being able to find a babysitter. If they only knew how easy they had it. I not only had to find babysitters for my “normal” children, but also nurses and caregivers for my special boy who can not watch normal children. My nights out when I could find sitters and caregivers were being able to go to the grocery store and pick up things we needed without having to take the kids with me. I must say though, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat Treasure those special moments with those special guys. It goes by fast. It gives you a new perspective in life and allows you to appreciate EVERYTHING you have and EVERYONE in your life that much more.

  • Angela

    Love this!!! I do have meltdowns and I feel I am the only mom around that does.

  • Angela

    One thing I don’t like is that when you go to ECFE they say that you have to talk to someone about your issues… well my issues are not the same as others and I say to them that I don’t have friends because of my issues. LOL… the neat thing is I do have one friend that does understand me… she is actually from EFCE… I try to keep my “autism talk” to a minimum… ;O)

    • demelzabunny

      Rule #1 to surviving being a special needs parent: completely IGNORE and DISMISS those who belittle you, infuriate you, or who just generally don’t understand you and what you’re going through. They just don’t matter. You have to use your energy to do what you need to do for your child/children, spouse and your family. Fuck everyone else. And if you’re lucky enough to find someone who is compassionate and understands – consider yourself lucky.

  • Freida Potter

    You forgot to include “Because special
    Needs parents have a giant chip on their shoulder, convinced that their life is soooooo very much harder than everybody else’s that they are entitled to not return phone calls; not reciprocate invitations for years on end; cancel at the last minute 14 times in a row after having demanded the event be reconfigured around their precious little pumpkin and yet still have loving friends and family who ALWAYS reach out to them and cater to them”.

    Cuz a kid with special needs indefinitely absolves you from behaving like a civilized human being.

    • Julie Cittadino Walker

      Are you being serious? Do you even have a child with special needs?

      • KimS

        While I agree that special needs parents need empathy, what about those that deny their is a problem, or refuse to take control of the situation? Am I allowed to be frustrated then?

    • demelzabunny

      Now you’ve got it right: having a special needs child, esp, one w.severe medical or behavioral issues, absolutely DOES absolve you from behaving like a civilized human being – at times when those who lack compassion or understanding think you are not. Those who are lucky enough to have relatively normal kids and lives are obligated to make allowances and be understanding of those parents of special needs kids who are trying hard not to kill themselves.

      • Thomas Offal

        Allowances, yes. Understanding of parents with SN kids, yes. Absolving said parents of the expectation that they will behave like civilized human beings most of the time and uphold the social contract (i.e. be polite as it keeps the world from descending into anarchy) most of the time, HELL NO.

        • demelzabunny

          For your information, my husband and I ALWAYS behave like civilized human beings, and every single parent of a special needs child I’ve ever met has also behaved in a respectful and caring way. I wonder what experience you’ve had that makes you say that they don’t. But if they seem off, it would behoove you to make allowances for them.

  • Gwen Thomas

    My Mom is 80, and takes care of my Downs syndrome little sister and another handicapped young man in her home. Its difficult for me to hear some professional social workers who visit the young man, give my Mom ‘advice.’ Although they mean well, what they learned in college can’t compare to a lifetime of knowledge my Mom (and our family) have gained first hand, I have immense respect for my Mom and doubt that I could ever fill her shoes.

  • Dan

    We brought him back from crib death a bunch of times. 14 years later my marriage is ruined, I have no friends, and I get so enraged I’m afraid I will kill him one day. I’m writing this while locked in the bathroom smoking cigs contemplating throwing myself off the 12 story balcony of the shithole apartment I now occupy because me and my wife can’t even look at each other anymore. There is no god and if there is fuck him and his entire family!

    • Jessica

      Dan, you have my prayers. You may not want them but, because I don’t know you, they are the only help I can offer. Oh, and my hope that your life gets better. I really do. I can’t imagine the helplessness and frustration that you feel but I can get a sense of it from your post.

    • demelzabunny

      You need to reach out for help – STAT! Please call your local hotline, hospital, even the police; they will direct you to where you and your family will get help. If it turns out you need to leave your family, then you will. But please do this NOW, for all involved. I also feel there is no God, and if he really did send me something he thought I could handle, boy, was he mistaken! Good luck and don’t give up.

  • Thara

    I’m a mama thats it. I hate the label extra needs parent, it makes me mad. To me, a extra needs mama is the one with extra needs, NOT her child.

  • sunshine_btfly

    What do you al thing about homeschooling an ADD/SPD child? My son spent the last few weeks of preschool last semester going to school maybe 1-2 days a week, and I stressed every day to get him on the bus without a meltdown, get him settled down to take a nap when he got home, and I can’t imagine what they could teach him in 2 hours, that I can’t do at home in the 12-15 hours he’s commonly awake? He already knows his letters, numbers up to 100, all his dinosaurs, almost knows how to read, can add, working on subtration, and is learning so much using online tools like abcmouse. I get a break a little when he’s at school, so for my own well-being, school may be somewhat beneficial, but if I homeschooled him, I’d have the flexibility to go back for my biology degree (pre-med), I already have my anthropology degree.
    Does anyone know of the legalities in california regarding special ed homeschool? I tried to read them, but it’s like reading sanskrit trying to understand the legal-ize.
    I also agree with the one who said that, regardless of whether your child has medical, emotional, or psychological special needs (my son has all 3), the path we travel is our own and cannot be compared to be easier or harder. Meltdowns in public are no easier to deal with than a g-tube leak or lugging a wheelchair out of the trunk. We all have to support one another in our individual journeys. If we can’t stand together, we will fall apart.

  • proudmarsmom

    thank you for this post…WOW…this is me and my life

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  • Jan

    “Don’t treat me any differently because I’m a special needs parents, but no treat me differently”.


  • ChristinaDunigan

    Check with the pharmaceutical company about the expensive meds. They have Patient Assistance Programs to help families whose insurance doesn’t cover medication. The income guidelines are very generous, and I used to get my $370 a month medicine delivered to my door for free from the drug company, so I know it works. The paperwork is very simple.

  • Nick Anthony VII

    God really doesn’t have anything to do with it. I hate it when people say “it’s all in gods plan.” Fuck you! No it’s not. Think of the Cleveland kidnapping. What if someone said that to one of the girls “it’s all in gods plan.” Yeah? Well that is a terrible plan.

  • Kimberly

    Hi to all of the parents with special needs. I can say I understand, because I do. My son Bobby was born with mental retardation, and autism. He is 28 years old, and when he went to school they did not diagnose autism. Not that it mattered, I still sat through one horrible school meeting after another. My husband and I left every time feeling like we had just been bullied. I prayed every night God would send help, and he did. He sent my husband and I 9 other kids. That made 12 kids in all, and for Bobby that was all he ever needed. Built in baseball team, endless partners for video games, and buddies to take him to Walmart. No one ever made fun of him, after all he had 11 siblings, who would dare take that on. When the time came I did fight back, took advantage of good old Pres. Obama bill for moms’ to college. That’s right moms’ I am one year away from becoming a special ed. teacher. When I do, I will fight for all of us. My drive is for all the parents that we never have to sit and be bullied, or intimidated, by school officials. I have a program I used to teach Bobby, (finally had to home school) and it worked. I want to bring it to the classrooms. I care for all us parents who have had to live through this, with dignity and grace. Keep the faith. Kimberly

  • AJ

    Omg, i can relate to alot of this. Except my child does not have a G-Tube… Thank God

  • Jessyca Hardison Adams

    I am SO glad someone feels the same way! I would add another one 16) We are losing patience. We are tired of people not understanding and berating these children. Our tolerance is already spread pretty darn thin; word to the wise, don’t tick off a special needs parent.

  • Concerned friend

    I have a very good friend with a daughter with special needs, I don’ t feel sorry..I am proud of the mother she has become and.the strides her daughter has made. At the same time, reading this blog it has reinforced the feeling of walking on eggshells..what to say…what not to say…you are right..we don’t always know…we see a friend sometimes brave and sometimes falling apart…a friend that we shared everything with..suddenly a divide because ” we couldn’t possibly understand”… maybe we can’t….just as you can’t understand the mixed signals we get…”don’t treat me or my child differently, but understand what I do every day is different and hard.” ” Be proud that my child has accomplished a goal ( because it was that much harder for them), but I do not want to do the same with yours- why ?- It feels like a tight rope. I hope that I am not coming across as crude or offensive, but everyone has ideas on what not to say, but I need advice on walking the tight rope…

    • demelzabunny

      The best thing you can do for your friend is be there for her, whether it’s just as a sympatheic ear while she vents, or actually giving her a break and helping her care for her child, if you can (or even pay for someone). Sometimes the best thing is not to say anything…

  • Sar2570

    Just joining this world as spent first three years of my little boys life with every body telling me he will catch up only now he has started nursery school and they see a problem are people starting to believe me . He cannot speak more than about ten words and I am receiving no help for him as every is saying someone else should fund it

  • chris

    My son has down syndrome he’s 7. Some days are harder than others. Today at school he had breakfast with a veteran day. Im his father and also a veteran. While grandparents and parents were enjoying their time with the kids I was chasing my son around listening to screaming watching other kids laugh at him, finally him flopping on the ground. As I left to go to work it didnt dawn on me until I walked into work and started crying. In 7 years unlike other parents with “normal” kids I have not had a time with my son that whilr tryinh to create loving memories he has acted out like this and is getting worse…its been since his birth that ive broke down like this. I came home from work so knowone had to see my tears..because they would not understand.
    I love my Jayden more than anything in life but would just like to have a normal im a dad moment.And enjoy it.
    Is that bad?
    Or selfish?
    Been 7 years ….today I broke down…feel like a bad dad for not understanding.

    • demelzabunny

      Perhaps your son (and your family) would benefit from medicaition. Please ask your pediatrician/neurologist about this, and good luck.

  • Sabina

    Don’t forget the fact that the homework that should have taken 20 minutes to do took almost an hour due to kid becoming distracted at everything in sight, even her own hands……

  • lauren

    i always get “i dont know how u do it” well you go a day at a time because there is not a door number 2, dont have a choice not to. do 4 breathing treaments every morning and every night and 13 medications thats how it is having a 9 ur old still in diapers cleaning poop and pee messes, people just dont get it, countless times in the hospitals for weeks…

  • Corey Mahoney

    we hear about how your typical child has not slept a few nights well try a few years lol …sorry your toddler is getting into everything…at least its only a year…not three or four !!!!

  • Diane Marie Avelleyra

    I THINK YOU ALL HAVE IT WRONG!!! “SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN” are OUR “SPECIAL GIFT FROM GOD” – HE KNEW we would Take GOOD CARE of ALL OUR CHILDREN whatever their NEEDS maybe. I am a Unemployed POOR mom of 5 kids – 2 are Special Needs but 1 is a adult son bi polar that lives out of state on his own but I still worry about his needs (31) and my Special Needs daughter (20) has the HAPPIEST SMILE each day on her face and I would not trade that for anything. She does Special Olympics – Swimming 7 years – Basketball & Baseball when she was in elem. school, but her swimming is her best and now bowling. She broke her femur 2x when she was 8 (2001) and with external fixatures and body cast for months never knowing if she would ever walk again but with lots of prayers and her smiles made my days. We all go the Winter Polar Bear Plunge for Special Olympics as a family. She graduated from HS and works Part Time at a Christian pre – school. She loves her cell phone & laptop just like “NORMAL” kids… She has been to Homecoming and proms. So the “SPECIAL NEEDS” WORD is JUST a Word that people use to think that kids are different but we ALL have the SAME HEART that God Gave us which is Full of LOVE for one and another…. so be HAPPY. Diane Marie Avelleyra

  • Samantha

    I’m sorry, but I get really frustrated when I read things like this. How can a special needs mom actually say “no one knows until they have been there” and then judge another mother? We don’t know what she has been through. We don’t know the heartache or pain she endured. We don’t know what the home life is like. Some mothers don’t disclose information so readily either. Maybe his/her child has not been diagnosed yet? I have a special needs daughter and two typical kids. Sometimes my typical kids give me more grief than my special needs child. She needs special attention constantly, is not potty trained, takes multiple medications, and has a variety of doctors that she sees, but my typical children are just that. They are energetic, and can get into things. I think we as special needs parents need to be more accepting of other parents. We don’t know what anyone else has been through unless they disclosed that information.

  • Shelley

    This made me laugh….and cry…and laugh some more.

  • http://www.thepottershandacademy.com/ Kristi

    My son has ADHD, ODD, and probably a host of other crap we haven’t even been able to diagnose yet. I’m so very exhausted tonight. He’s spiraling, and we’re on week 2 (or maybe 3…I lost track) of the spiral. That means fights every minute, of every hour, of every day. ADHD moms, we might not deal with feeding tubes or some of the other things on this list, but don’t discount yourself. We have our own unique issues. I’m EXTREMELY difficult to get along with today, because the truth is, I only have so much give a d**n to go around, and I NEED to spend it on my marriage and my kids. And I think that’s the absolute truth of why special needs parents are so hard to get along with.

    • demelzabunny

      That’s about it. Those who don’t get it: read this post again and again until you do. And if you don’t, get lost.

  • Beth Cabbage Bailey

    Love this article and all the comments … makes me feel not so alone. I have four children, 2 have Autism. I pretty much stay to myself because I want to blow up at stupid comments. I remember talking with a family member about how difficult it was to travel long distance with our 9 year old daughter who is non-verbal and so can’t tell us when she needs to go potty. We were stopping every 2 hours to put her on a toilet! Then the family member says “We all have to do that with our kids.” REALLY!? Maybe a 3 year old but not a 9 year old! I’ve gotten to the point where I only talk about the details of this crazylife with people who get it. God Bless all my fellow “special” moms!

  • Mitchnbecky Jacobs

    4 9 and 11 are the ones we get the most hee haahaha

  • Tonia Hadjigeorgiou

    Hi there my beautiful mothers !! This made me laugh because it’s true. It’s seems that being a parent to a special need child we all face the same problems and challenges everyday despite where we live. Am from Cyprus and I totally agree. It’s not that we want people to feel pity for us or for our kids but at least show some sympathy. My child is almost 5 and she has a rare disease we might be the 16th case in the entire world. We have speech , physio , O.T and hydro sessions twice during the week and I try to manage to be a working mum (yes we need to leave the house at least 5 hours ). I get weird looks or even comments that I can not moan since I choose to work, or I should be grateful that God sent me his child !!
    Last week I was having my moment of moan that I have so many to do and no time and one my colleague was going on about that she won’t be going home before dinner time for two days since she has a hair dresser and beautician appointments !! I laughed and said oh you poor thing I totally feel you…..

    • demelzabunny

      People who make STUPID comments like “God sent you his child” are pathetic and worthless. The best thing to do when people make these comments: ignore them.

  • laura

    lol that sums it up!

  • Kristina Leu

    I cringe every time the phone rings when my son is in school. Always afraid that it’s the school calling to say he had a meltdown and hurt another student or another student did something and hurt him. People don’t understand why I don’t like to answer my phone and why I don’t like staying on the phone long.

  • Ashley Robinson

    kitchen looks like a war zone due to your child having sensory issues so will only eat certain foods…at times this means preparing two separate meals

  • Jane Brooks

    Parents of “typical” kids don’t have to read books like “emotions to advocacy”. Because they don’t have to beg and jump through loops and attend due process or write to OCR just to get the basic human right to communication, inclusion, parent involvement , social interaction access to curriculum. I could go on

    • Thomas Offal

      If your kid is on an IEP, your kid is automatically ENTITLED to have you participate in his IEP meetings, i.e. setting up the accommodations that he/she is legally entitled to. You have an INCREDIBLE amount of say in what kind of education your kid gets. The average parent of a NT kid has 1/100th the say in their child’s education that you, as a parent of a special need kid, do.

      This is a FACT.

      • demelzabunny

        Again, you are showing, Mr. Offal, that you have very little grasp of what goes on in IEP meetings and w/CPSEs/CSEs. They will often try their best to NOT provide the services necessary for these special needs children, even though the law says they may be entitled to it. Why, you may ask? Because it’s cheaper. They often (this does depend on the individual school district involved) make parents fight tooth and nail to get them to do what they’re supposed to.

        • Thomas Offal

          YOU, as the parent of a child with special needs, are required to SIGN OFF on your child’s IEP. If your kid has a sub-standard education due to a sub-standard IEP, keep in mind that YOU, as the parent, signed off on it.

          You do realise you have the right to NOT agree to an IEP that fails to meet your kid’s needs for a FAPE, yes? So why on earth WOULD you sign off a plan that doesn’t give your kid what he/she needs to succeed???

          • mamainfante

            You are not correct sir. We do in fact sign. But that is to say we were part of the meeting, not to say that we agree with the IEP. In Rhode Island anyways. We have input, but not the final word. There is a grievance process which we can explore, and may of us do; however it takes a lot of time and energy. Time and energy that should be going to our children. I’ve read a lot of your comments and you seem to speak as if you know all of us and how we raise our children and there is an underlying sentiment that somehow we are responsible for our children’s actions. I have 3 children on the spectrum. I have been to more IEP and 504 meetings than I can even count. I continually fight for my children’s right to FAPE and work with the staff with ways to get that for each one individually. The thing is, I shouldn’t have to fight. My husband and I, who are still together even with 3 kids on the spectrum know a lot about commitment and dedication to our family, we do not have any home based services or respite to give us a break from our kids. We do it together as a family. In fact the higher functioning kids need to help the lower functioning kids. And I need to say, your tone in general is accusatory and mean. I do not know why, only you know why. I do know this. It is unbecoming. It is mean. And it is unnecessary. For the love of God, find another group to attack. Not parents who are doing the best that they can to raise good and respectful members of society. Not the parents who wake up at night in terror not knowing what will happen to their kids if they should die. I’ll let you into my world for one moment. My husband and I have had conversations about when we die. We’ve said that the one who dies first, will go peacefully because we will know that the other is there to take care of the kids. The one who dies last will be tortured because they will be leaving them behind… we both want to go first. This is our life. And you attack us. You should be ashamed of yourself.

        • Thomas Offal

          YOU, as the parent of a child with special needs, are required to SIGN OFF on your child’s IEP. If your kid has a sub-standard education due to a sub-standard IEP, keep in mind that YOU, as the parent, signed off on it.

          You do realise you have the right to NOT agree to an IEP that fails to meet your kid’s needs for a FAPE, yes? So why on earth WOULD you sign off a plan that doesn’t give your kid what he/she needs to succeed???

  • Amanda Tumbaga

    I’m sure to get flamed for this, but it needs to be said. Hate me if you must, but it’s the truth. To think I am ignorant of special needs parents would be a mistake, I know a LOT of people with special needs kids, and we are FRIENDS, this is why. This is a c/p regarding this blog post, it was originally sent the person who posted a link to this blog entry on her facebook wall.
    I read this, and while I understand and sympathize with most of it, I do take issue with one thing. I know a lot of special needs parents, and there seem to be three main types that I have encountered. The “I’m doing the best I can” parent. The “I’m just like you and my kid is just like yours” parent, and the “I work harder than you so I’m a superior” parent. It’s that last group that causes so many issues. The statement “3. Mixed the g-tube formula, fed daughter, cleaned up, got to school on time, then listened to the neighbor complaining that her 8 year old refused to eat broccoli at dinner last night.” Is an example of one of those parents because the SECOND my struggles (no matter how trivial) are belittled because *yours* are bigger is the second my compassion goes right out the window. It’s the same with anything, from someone with a bad marriage to someone who lives in poverty to someone who has a bad job. There will ALWAYS be someone who has it harder or is worse off than someone else, no need to turn it into a “pissing contest.” If I can’t complain about my frustrations with my kid not eating broccoli but am expected to listen to your complaints about the uncooperative G-tube/child/doctor/school/teacher, why would I want to be your friend anyway? To be clear, by “your” I mean general your, not specifically you *friends name*. Friendship is a two way street and it should not matter WHAT our complaint is about, only that we are there for each other no matter what that means. If I used the logic in this blog post in my own life, I would hate everyone. I don’t have a special needs child, I am a special needs mom. I’m sick, chronically…and things that most parents take for granted are things that are giant obstacles for me. If I were to compare the struggle of others with my own constantly, I would not be surprised to find myself alienated too. My able bodied friends have struggles too, theirs are just different…as a friend I know, and RESPECT this. I want to be clear that I don’t mean to disrespect to any parent, but to turn it into an “us vs. them” thing just further opens the divide. We already have breast vs. formula, working vs. SAHM, and circumcised vs. uncut….do we really need special needs parent vs not? At the end of the day, we are ALL parents and we ALL face challenges in life.

    • demelzabunny

      Um, no, you don’t face the same challenges. You could also used a load of compassion. You obviously don’t know what you’re talking about. How would you like your child to be unable to eat normally, talk, or have to wear diaper or puts everything in her mouth at age 12? Be careful what you wish for.

      • Amanda Tumbaga

        I get the feeling that you didn’t actually read what I wrote. I NEVER said that we all face the same challenges, as a matter of fact I said the EXACT OPPOSITE. I said that we all face CHALLENGES and the second anyone belittles someone elses challenges because theirs are worse, is the second my compassion is lost. Right now at this very moment my best friend is at the hospital because her sister lost her battle with end stage brain cancer earlier today. I was there with her over the weekend, but I had no child care to be there today. This same friend lost her adult step daughter in 2012, and her 14 year old son in 2011. She has FAR more than she can handle right now, and I am there for her through thick and thin…but you know what? She’s there for ME too. Never once have I called her to vent and had her belittle MY feelings or problems because HER feelings or problems were bigger. THAT is what I am talking about. I never once claimed to know what a special needs parent experiences, just that is a special needs parent wants MY friendship, they still have to understand that friendship goes two ways, and we need to be there for each other and never belittle or trivialize the struggles of the other one, even if we do secretly think our struggles are bigger.

  • S

    Our versions of No. 2 – Find out that the milk/milo/juice finished because of the ring(s) in the sink becos children have decided that since they can’t finish or don’t need a full glass of liquid, it is best to pour the rest down the drain. No. 4 – Have 2nd SN child wake up crying becos 1st SN child is checking her to ensure that she is breathing or we wake up with a start when she checks to see if we are still in bed … No. 6 – There were no witnesses and it was an accident!!! No. 15 – why are you so strict with your children? Why can’t they go to parties?? No. 16 – 30 mins of sofa hopping replaced by 2 mins of brand new trampoline jumping. and etc etc….

  • k

    I laughed and smh. I adopted my daughter i was her home health nurse many medical dx then dx with autism a year later at age 7. But she is a joy and challenge. G tube, non verbal, gets up set hit her self, crys for reason i dont know(excluding cry that r associated with starts if ear or respatory infection, gas or constipation). I am always tired oh did u forget insomnia thank God for melatonin. My friends get me love my daughter family so so supportive. I don’t thinkii am hard to get along with, but lol my friends tell me u dismiss people or leave their presents if i find their conversation meaningless. People that have kids with no special needs either praise u encourage u, or think u must the reason your child behaves that way. Or better yet i have been asked how r u able to smile when u have to deal with all of your daughters issues. Smg smile thank God and keep it moving.

  • Thomas Offal

    Many of the special needs parents I know do not return phone calls, bail on carpool at the very last minute on a weekly basis, allow their precious pumpkin to destroy other people’s stuff and don’t reciprocate dinner invitations. For years and years on end. They often have a large chip on their shoulder, convinced their life is soooo much harder than everybody else’s.

    These same parents — the ones who spend years unable to maintain the basest elements of the social contract, who forget reciprocity is an important element in relationships — are baffled as to why their formerly close friends desert them. They aren’t seeing the forest for the trees.

    (This isn’t ALL special needs parents – my closest friend has a little girl with DS and yet he and his wife manage to have a life, care for their other kids, reciprocate dinner invites and are reliable enough to include in Sunday school carpool).

    • demelzabunny

      Have compassion for these people for God’s sakes! You have NO idea what hell their lives are, day in and day out. They need to be cut some slack – by you! What do the Native Americans say?
      “Don’t judge someone until you have walked a mile in his moccasins.” I have news for you: their lives ARE soooo much harder than everyone else’s. I often contemplate SUICIDE because I cannot accept the fact that my daughter will never say, “Mommy” to me, or probably anyting else, will probably never be toilet-trained, looks funny and has a big head with very little hair, and will need constant supervision for the rest of her life – and after I’m gone! And we will probably never know why. I’d like to see how well you’d deal with that. You are a poor excuse for a person.

      • Thomas Offal

        Look, if you’re contemplating suicide, well, you are clearly in need of outside assistance (and am praying you reach out to somebody / some organization who can assist you).

        I like to think I am compassionate. And, of course, I help out friends and family in a crisis — but for some (by no means ALL) special needs parents, they’re convinced their entire life is a crisis. That folks should expect nothing for them and bring them casseroles and basically cater to their whims because their kid is soooooooo hard forever. And ever. And ever.And the world does not work like that and if you’re over-entitled enough to really, truly believe that it should, well, that may be contributing to why people avoid you.

        Something like 1 in 50 kids are diagnosed with autism. This implies that every other classroom should have a shrieking, misbehaving autistic kid in it, as should almost every boy/girl scout troop, 1 in 3 AWANAs classes, etc. Yet I have two NT kids, who have kids on the spectrum in their public school classes, scout troops, etc. and rarely encounter a shrieking melting down, horribly behaved autistic kid. This suggests it is POSSIBLE to teach a kid on the spectrum to survive out there in the NT world. Thrive, even. What are THOSE parents doing that you are not? My assumption is that a melting down kid with an ASD is a desperately unhappy one, so why not do something, ANYTHING to make your kid happier?? Why not seek advice from parents with ASD kids who ARE thriving (or, at a minimum, less unhappy than yours)??

        (As an aside, my parents are both physics professors — if the faculty in their department was 30-40 years younger, 50% of them totally have been diagnosed as ASD. Probably 60% of both their grad students probably are too. Clearly folks with ASDs have been able to thrive even without tons of accommodations that they are entitled to by the ADA).

        • demelzabunny

          You obviously have NO understanding of autism or what it’s like to have a special needs kid. Have you ever heard of an autistic kid being “on the spectrum?” Do you have any idea what that means? That some are more strongly affected by their autism than others? That strategies/medications will work for some but not for others? I suggest you not discuss things you obviously haven’t a clue about, and leave it up to the experts.

          If you had a special needs kid – one that is moderately to severely disabled – I’d like to see how you’d react. I have news for you: I really don’t care if people avoid me. I have more important things to do, like taking care of my daughter and holding my family and self together. If you are a good friend, you will be there for me as you can; if not, so be it. As Pres. Truman said: “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

  • FeustyPants’ Mom

    oh my, just found this blog. This is great! May I add this one: Went to store with my kid in her wheel chair. Small child approached and asked questions like “why are you in that?” “how come you don’t walk?” and waited for my kid to answer. ADULT walked over and patted 10 yr old on head and said to me “Poor thing. What’s WRONG with her?”

  • Trichia Terflinger

    I’m a single mom of a special needs daughter. I struggle to keep my full time job because my supervisor doesn’t understand; you can’t make abrupt changes to a special needs child. It can cause behavior issues, regression, sleep deprecation; increasing the chance my daughter will have a seizure. I’m a good, hard working employee. Yes I have to take time off when she’s sick; it could become life threading. I have to take time off when she has appt for one of 6 specialists. When she gets hurt at school, do to neglect from her special needs teacher. But I still don’t miss work as often as others.
    My daughter is 90% potty trained. She has problems with going #2 of the toilet. She can’t dress herself, or prepare her on food,she can’t go to the bathroom on her own, she needs help with everything. She has multiple disabilities, 4 of which are life threatening.
    I get dirty looks from people, people whispering. It’s rude. I hate when people say they understand. Oh they so don’t.

  • Yoyo

    Why is GOD spelled G-D??

  • David

    Should have had an abortion.

  • Callam Froot

    I know exactly what you all are saying, I myself have special needs, I grew up throwing tantrums in public places, screaming and being a general terror to my mum, but this was because no one knew what was wrong with me, I was a frustrated scared little boy with the intellect of Einstein and the body of a 2 year old. My first Diagnoses was ADHD I was put on Ritalin and doped out of my head, but as it turned out it turned out to be be a misdiagnoses. At 18 I was Diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome but that as it turned out that also turned out to be a misdiagnosis, at 26 I was Diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. I finally explained why I had so many learning difficulties, so many child like traits and why I never really got out of diapers. To this day I will throw my own little hissy fit in private if something around me changes when im not expecting it, I can not tolerate change, and having SID makes it twice as difficult any time a police car or ambulance goes past it is painful, if a dog barks it is painful or if a cat meaows it can hurt sometimes certain sounds on tv can hurt, certain sounds in music can hurt, certain sensations to the skin I just don’t feel others are there constantly. I don’t like being touched I find it difficult to go out because I dont like wearing cloths. But these days a hissy fit for me now is nothing compared to what it used to be for me as a child. As a child I would throw myself to the ground, kick about, cry, scream, hit, and punch myself and others and throw the nearest objects I could get my hands on. Now a hissy fit for me is just throw myself on the bed scream in to my pillow and cry for half an hour. As a child I had tantrums up till I was 18 It stopped the day after I got the diagnoses of Aspergers, even if it was incorrect, everyone thought it was amazing. 4 years later they realized I didn’t have Aspergers when I threw a major tantrum and ended up in a psychiatric hospital for a year. That’s how I got my autism re assessed.