I’ve shared in some detail the challenges we’ve faced over the years raising a special needs child – and the joys, as well. It is a roller coaster at times, and we’ve tried to maintain a reliance on God for all of it. We’ve also recognized the unique ways God has wired our son and how He can use that for His glory.
Certainly our son’s higher functioning has been easier to deal with than some severe, medically fragile kids who require a lot of 24/7 physical care. We’ve known parents who have a much harder road, physically, than we can imagine. And sometimes that journey ends in the passing of that child, which is likely one of the hardest thing any Mom or Dad can go through. Yet we feel an affinity for any special needs situation. Maybe we haven’t “been there done that,” exactly, but we understand a bit of the toll – and also the ways God can show up in the midst of the most difficult parts of life.
If you have a special needs child, would you mind helping out on a project I’m pursuing? I feel a strong sense to capture and offer encouragement to families with non-traditional parenting circumstances. To that end, I’m asking you to take a brief survey…segmented in short portions over the next few blog posts…to get a sense of your story. By the way, if you KNOW someone else who might wish to share, please let them know of this?
Here’s why I’m asking. I’m a big advocate for the truths Paul wrote about in 2 Corinthians, chapter 1, when he said,
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.
Paul saw how God could meet him in his suffering, and how those experiences were used by God to offer comfort to others. So, in that spirit, maybe God can use your situation to speak to someone and offer them some comfort or a lift to their day. Maybe the strength you’ve found can benefit someone else – or maybe you NEED some hope. Either way, your input here will be appreciated, and might find its way into a booklet to post (I’ll contact you before publishing any clearly identifiable information you might share).
The first few questions are about the beginning of your special needs journey. I’ll suggest you copy and paste in the comments section…anonymously to readers if you’d prefer.
- Why did you seek intervention/help with your child? What were the symptoms that concerned you?
- What diagnosis did you get, and what was your child’s age at the time?
- What was your immediate reaction to the diagnosis, and how, if at all, did your reaction change with time?
- What advice did you get about this, and what was most helpful?
Thanks in advance for taking the time to interact with me, and to offer your own unique perspectives on the joys and challenges of having a special needs child. I hope that together we can reach out to those in need and give some comfort to one another!