Posted in Autism, Behavior/ ABA, Down syndrome

Blog #94~Advice for Special Needs Moms

Blog #94~Advice for Special Needs Moms

I’ve been raising a child with special needs for 20 years. My son, Nick has Down syndrome and was later diagnosed with autism. Being a parent is rewarding but also challenging and stressful. Having a child with special needs amplifies things even more. I’ve felt ashamed, exhausted, and frustrated piling on mounds of guilt along the way.  With Mother’s Day coming up I’ve been thinking about a few things. What advice would I give to that 33 year old mom back in 1994?

Joleene Pic

Advice for Special Needs Moms- 5 Things I’ve learned

1.  Let go of being the helpless victim. Take back control and commit  yourself to action. Ask for help and accept help from family, friends, teachers, therapists, support groups and special needs agencies.

2.  Adopt a new attitude when you feel bogged down.  How about this mantra? “Today I will do just one thing to move me forward to where I want to be.”

3.  Learn from others but set your own course. It’s easy to be overwhelmed when you see other moms trying gluten free, casein free, organic dietary programs, experimenting with essential oils, driving all over town to ABA behavior/OT/PT/Speech therapy programs and recreational activities. Forgive yourself, let go of those feelings of inadequacy.

4.  Which leads right into GUILT!  Society’s expectations don’t have to be yours. Don’t let anyone pack your bags for a guilt trip.

pintrest cartoon

5.  Take time to breathe, pray, meditate, exercise and feed your soul. A rested mind, body and spirit will help you navigate those rough, rocky roads.

zen

Do I follow this advice every day? Hardly, this morning I procrastinated  waiting until Nick ran out of his meds before making  a doctor appointment. I also threw out a package of moldy hot dog buns buried in the pantry. The floor hasn’t been mopped in two weeks and I sat around like a slug watching this movie for the umpteenth time with Nick yesterday….

The other guys

Do I feel guilty about it? Not near as much as I use to. The mounds of guilt have been reduced to a few, small piles I step in from time to time. poop icon

So, to all the special needs moms out there I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day. Slow down and do something you enjoy.  Go have a glass of wine with your girlfriends. Take a day or at least an afternoon to do nothing but fun things you enjoy. Please carry that with you each day as you make your way down that rocky road. That’s what is in my noggin this week.

~Teresa 🙂

Nick Sox game

Author:

Teresa is the mother of two boys. Her youngest son, Nick is 23 years old and has special needs including Down syndrome, autism and verbal apraxia. She is a parent advocate, speaker and writer who is currently working on the memoir of raising her son, Nick. You can follow Nick world on our Facebook page and Pinterest @Down Syndrome With A Slice of Autism. Find Nick on Instagram@ #nickdsaustism, Twitter @tjunnerstall.

11 thoughts on “Blog #94~Advice for Special Needs Moms

  1. I will definitely be revisiting this list, as I feel these things often, and my son is only six! Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

  2. Awesome advice T! Great photos too!!! You know how to put it all in perspective and to lighten it up with great graphics!!!

  3. You are an inspiration – to so many including myself and my son. My son, Ryan, was fortunate to be Nick’s Peer Partner at MVHS in 2011-12. This experience has shaped his life and to this day he continues to participate with other special needs young adults at U of I – not as a volunteer, but as a friend.

    This morning, Ryan just sent me your link as he just learned of your blog. I will follow your postings and be reminded of how lucky I am. Not because I am not faced daily with the challenges of raising a child with different needs, but rather for what you and Nick have done to enhance the value of my son’s life. Although he has always helped others in need, Nick really made an impression on him – particularly during the beginning of their year- long friendship in high school. Your words are and will continue to be an inspiration to so many. Happy Mother’s Day!

    1. Thank you so much for reading the blog and sharing your son Ryan’s relationship with Nick. It warms my heart as a mother to know that Nick has made such an impression on him. Wishing you a very happy and blessed Mother’s Day. 🙂

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