Thursday, April 26, 2012

Stress for special needs parents

Recently I have wondered how parenting typical children compared to parenting children with special needs  stress wise. As parents we all have stress and obstacles. Several time a year we go through some really difficult special needs situations and we are currently smack dab in the middle of a HUGE one.

Today I had to go and talk to the case manager that keeps track of A~man's services and explain what has been happening this last month. I'm not a big talker, and to talk to this man about a VERY uncomfortable subject has drained every ounce of strength out of me. The anxiety I experienced talking about the issue hit a 9.0 on the Richter scale.  

 Meanwhile, he mentioned to me that he has recently discovered some major water damage to his home that he has only had a couple years that is going to amount to a lot of $$$. I feel bad for his family. What he has is a major financial hardship (btdt btw), and a disruption to his family, and mine involves yet a new challenging situation arising after thinking "what else could happen?" BUT I couldn't help thinking how I would trade my families current stress for his.

Mine doesn't involve any loss of money. Mine involves me getting very little sleep, when I do sleep I have nightmares, and my heart is hurting that what's going on can't be "fixed" (although we are arranging some new Dr appointments) and I'm clueless how to handle it. New things are popping up and I'm not sure if it is due to puberty, an imbalance (going to the endo to get some levels tested), him needing a medicine change or possibly some new stuff that was passed down genetically from his biological family. That leaves me looking for answers with a couple of doctors and possibly a counselor or child psychologist.The case manager suggested RAD. (A~man had very little physical contact until he came to us at 4.5 months old, it took him a LONG time to actually like being held as a baby) After talking to hubby and a good friend of mine though I do not think that is it. He has strong bonds with all of us.

I wonder. Do"normal" (what IS normal?) families have the same reactions to there everyday stressors as I do to my not so normal stressors? Does my body/mind get used to this periodic upheaval that can occur with special needs parenting? Also, due to the fact that we CHOSE this special needs parenting path, how does my journey compare with those parents that didn't choose this special needs path?

Oh and one last question. Has anyone seen my super mom cape? I seem to have lost it!


  1. I've often wondered about that as well. I think that while the intensity of the stress can often feel the same in families with "normal" (if there is such a thing) kids; the difference is in the constancy of it.

    As I look around, I see families going through periods of stress that sometimes last for years, but they eventually can pull through it and look back at that "awful time". But your children... that's something different. You can never walk away from your worry for them and they won't ever be healed. They won't ever be normal, no matter how hard we try to make them that way. And when you add in a constant behavioral issues that last from early childhood until long after we're dead and gone... there is no escape from it. Ever. And that is where the stress comes in that makes special need parenting just that tiny bit harder than typical parenting.

    On the other hand, to a typical parent who has never experienced "our" level of stress, they probably feel a bit invalidated. I'm not saying that their stress is not valid at all; just different. And not as intensely constant.

  2. I'm sorry that there's something new going on, Joy. I'll be praying. I don't know the answer to your questions. I think that all parents spend a lot of time worrying over their children, certainly. In your case, you have more to worry about than a lot of others and it's a long term thing whereas it might be more temporary in other situations. When you throw in how people all handle stress differently (something that I'd blow off is a MAJOR drama-fest for some others, for example) and, well, I'm not sure there is one set answer.

    The one thing I do know, though, is that prayer helps me and you're in my prayers.