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Karen Wang
BY Karen Wang

The Top 10 Special Needs Events in the Caregiver Olympics

Caregiving around the clock is a high-stress job, requiring intense emotional and physical strength. On some days I feel like I just completed a triathlon and capped it off with a freestyle ski jump.

Hmmm…maybe caregiving could be an Olympic event.  Autism With A Side Of Fries has suggested that the Olympics would be much more impressive with electrifying sports such as sneaking into a child’s room at night to trim toenails.

That begs the question: what would be the main events in the Caregiver Olympics?

1. Wrestling

Administer liquid vitamin or medicine to a kitchen escapee without spilling a precious drop.

2. 100 meter dash

A race to check out efficiently at the grocery store during a meltdown, and safely transfer all groceries and people to the car while remaining calm and without dropping anything.

3. Slalom

Maneuver a person in a wheelchair through a partially accessible, very crowded public building.

4. Weightlifting

Dead-lift a 50 pound person, swing him around to carry him on your back and then race uphill.

5. Triathlon

Dinner, bath, bedtime.

6. Curling

painstakingly smoothing out obstacles to full inclusion and poking forward to get the best possible services for a loved one.

7. Biathlon

Fill out a 50 page patient history from memory and shoot down obstacles to insurance coverage.

8. Luge

Remain calm and perfectly still while a person repeatedly shouts, “You’re a really useful engine!” directly into your ear.  The last competitor to crack wins.

9. Bobsled

Get the whole family past the terrifying images of Muppets at the store as quickly as possible using any necessary distractions.

10. Hurdle

Race across a darkened room filled with furniture with sharp corners, scattered Legos on the floor and cups full of ice water without making a noise.

What would be YOUR Olympic event?

Karen Wang

Written on February 10, 2014 by:

Karen Wang is a Friendship Circle parent. You may have seen her sneaking into the volunteer lounge for ice cream or being pushed into the cheese pit by laughing children. She is a contributing author to the anthology "My Baby Rides the Short Bus: The Unabashedly Human Experience of Raising Kids With Disabilities"
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