Friday, March 9, 2012

Living With Special Needs

I sometimes fear that it is difficult for people to discern my humor in my posts.  I am compelled to try to explain a bit.

Raising a special needs child is not all fun and games.  Nor is it all doom and gloom.  It is being a parent of a baby, child, teenager, young adult and adult, just like any other parent.  Believe it or not, our kids have most of the same struggles and drama that your kids do.  Sometimes, it's just a bit more intense for them...and us.

Loving my kids has always been the easy part.  They ARE lovable!  But, I am far from a perfect parent.  I'm yelled, screamed and cried.  I've said things I shouldn't have said.  I have had regrets. 

I fear some may think I am disrespecting my children by coming here and writing about them.  That is absolutely not my intention.  I have the utmost respect for my children.  They have endured things that most adults have not endured and my kids always come out smiling.  Nope!  They aren't perfect either.  Some of the behaviors we deal with can be maddening and/or embarrassing.  But they ARE champions!  They have taught me how to rise above "it."

I decided early on to try to use my blog as their voice.  I want to educate people, if I can.  I want them to not fear a child or adult that is "different" from the rest.  My dream is that people will give my kids and others like them a chance.  I've seen the "eye rolls" from people while we're out shopping or dining.  It used to bother me.  Now, I just ignore it.  It is their lack of knowledge and the fear of the unknown that drives them.  If I had a minute to talk to them, I could maybe make them understand.  But, I'm not that brave.  So I write it down.  Here.  For the universe.

I used to be a mouse in a corner.  Not anymore.  Not where my kids are concerned.  I've been forced into countless battles with the school district, yet I can applaud the teachers and staff that are wonderful.  Long ago, I adopted the attitude of "love me, love my kids."  If people choose not to love "us," that's OK.  I've got something very precious in my life...my kids.

Yea.  I make mistakes.  Yea, people can be cruel.  Yea, it can be lonely.  But it's all good.  It's life.  It's my life.

**I don't want anyone thinking I've gotten any grief about anything I've written because I haven't.  Just wanted to share. :)

35 comments:

♥ Helen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
♥ Helen said...

I understand...

Nancy Claeys said...

Hey -- it's your blog, your life and you really can write about anything you like. It's true! :)

I love your honesty, caring and how you describe what's going on in your world. You are helping people and I respect that. Love you and your crazy blog! xoxo

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I love it when you get all brave and outspoken in the blogisphere!

Charade said...

It IS your blog - and your life. Tell it like it is, Jill, as only you can do.

Busy Bee Suz said...

You are one awesome Mom!!! If you don't advocate for your kids, who will? And finding humor in all aspects of life (good or challenging) is my motto too!
I've grown up with a cousin that has Down's...so I learned early on the challenges and the JOYS too.
xoxox

Sharon said...

I'm sorry you feel a need to explain yourself. You have a great blog and a couple of beautiful children!

Gloria Hood said...

I personally feel you are doing a wonderful job, with your kids and your blog! Keep it up girl!! (((HUGS)))

Marie said...

I love the way you are so brave and yet you are gentle at the same time, careful not to step on anyone in the process. You have class. E. has befriended a new girl in school. She has really latched onto E. E. says nobody else will pay any attention to her because she is 'special'. 5th grade is tough enough without having to deal with such issues. :(

TexWisGirl said...

i think you give us a great dose of humor as well as reality. :)

Furry Bottoms said...

I think it is also very important for you, as a parent, to expose that life with special needs is equally rewarding and punishing as life is with any other normal children. There really isn't "More" difficult... it's just difficult in a different way, on a different level. People need to know this!

I am appreciative of everything you have to share with us. It does educate and it also broadens the circle of understanding, if that makes any sense?

Donna said...

You're a Great Mom Jill!!
We know what you mean...Say what you Want to, it's your blog!
(((HUG)))

Madi and Mom said...

J
Every single word you write about your beautiful children has inspired us and educated us...so keep up your good works.
Hugs Madi and Mom

Dawn's Craft Place said...

I have spent my entire life with a "special needs" brother and know how it can be a blessing and a handful.
I can't imagine a life without him in it.
He has taught me to be a gentler, kinder, and more patient person.
He has also made me work harder to get the same treatment for him and others like himself.
Don't ever apologize or feel you need to explain.
I am thrilled I found your blog and get to come along for the ride.
Thanks for always sharing
Hugs my friend

Cindy F. Adkins said...

I, for one, have never thought you're disrespecting your children by writing about them here. I admire you very much. I don't have children myself, but I have a special needs nephew whom I love with all my heart. You are right - people who "roll their eyes" or make remarks, do so out of ignorance and fear. Thank you for sharing your life with us.
Hugs, Cindy

Paula said...

I understand where you are coming from and I respect you and your way of trying to explain to people who may not know the experiences of a special needs person. I too have seen those eye rolls and actually had people laugh out loud at my mentally retarded or mentally challenged brother-in-law as he was also over weight.

Susan said...

Ah Jill, you have a most difficult job, you are a Mother! I love hearing about the antics of your children, just like the rest of us like to talk our families! It is so obvious to me that you love your children. You're alright with me!

Eva Ason said...

Hi Jill, I like your attitude. I know it can be hard to be a mother, and having children with special needs. My daugher has ADHD and when she was younger it was not always so easy.
Have a lovely day!

Eva

Nezzy said...

You go girl!!! I am a retired Special Ed. Educator and believe me when I say, I sooo understand.

Take your power and run with it sweetie!

God bless and have a fantastic weekend!!! :o)

Scrappy Pink Corner said...

Great post Jill. I could not have said it any better. I have a special needs child and I would get into it with anyone that would even look at her differently. I have had many restless nights because of it, but I have had no regrets. I am human and to be honest with you when they would laugh at her because of things she said or ways she acted I would attack them back. If I hurt them GOOD, they hurt the most precious thing to me.
TFS, love when you post talking about your kids.
ANA

Rohrerbot said...

Well said!! You shouldn't have to explain yourself at all. It's a unique dynamic that few people undestand...I get it and I get the humour:) If you didn't laugh sometimes, you could go MAD!! And now....that's simply not healthy:)

Michaele said...

I don't think anyone is judging you Jill. I had a good friend who adopted a downs syndrome Chinese baby. I know how special needs kids can make you laugh - and that it is okay to laugh. I hope you know how much respect we have for you.

Tammy said...

Special needs folks are just that...special. I think I have told you that I work with adults with special needs in both residential and program settings. They have become my friends, and I can't imagine doing anything else. You are among friends here, Jill :)

Debbie said...

oh jill, i love the stories you share!!

you are a kind, gentle, very special mom with a powerful voice. i am so happy they have you!!

Ed Pilolla said...

i know enough to know that kids with needs are no different. but i have no experience, or little. a former girlfriend worked in a l'arche community (http://www.larche.org/jean-vanier-founder-of-l-arche.en-gb.23.13.content.htm), and a former colleague of mine that really brought it home for me in a video about his family (http://www.includingsamuel.com/home.aspx).

don't mean to inundate you with links:)

Donna said...

Dear Jill,

I admire your honesty - but special needs or not, we mothers are not perfect. We have all said, thought or done things that we shouldn't have and regret. We are, after all, human and not perfect. These probably were not even because of the child, but the child was the focal point of the regret.

I wish I was perfect, my children probably wish I was perfect, but because they are now adults, raising children of their own, and living life ~ they understand they are not perfect either.

What I really wish is the wisdom and hindsight I have now, I would have had then ~

God bless you Jill!

Hugs,
Donna

EG CameraGirl said...

I appreciate your blog because I think it tells the truth about how you feel. I admire you for that.

Not everyone is comfortable about sharing their feelings. You should feel good about yourself that you do. I have always felt you LOVE your kids and have NEVER thought you were being disrespectful. Keep up the good work - at home and on your blog.

Nancy said...

I respect and admire your transparency, Jill. I'm sure you are helping others who struggle with such issues. God never intended for us to walk through life's trials by ourselves and by sharing your life you are letting others know they are not alone. Awesome!

Chatty Crone said...

No one is perfect - not mothers or grandmothers - trust me. We try and do our best.

I worked and have been involved with special needs kids since 1988. They are the most wonderful kids.

It is your blog.

And you my dear have found your core.

LOVE IT!

sandie

Janie said...

If people do not understand, it is their own problem. I hope no one offended you with comments without researching what they may of said.

I feel you are not only a voice for your children, you are an educator for people who have no real life experiences with challenging dissabilities of others. It is not a perfect world. Everyone is diffiernt, I think the world would be dull if it were perfect.

Besides that you are a single mom, and I adore your spirt of not giving up. You are allowed to have all the feelings you related. This is real, all parents or caregivers have ups and downs. It is healthy to share them with others. This is how we all learn.

Keep on going...

Saun said...

Amen sister, I know what your feeling. My hubby and I were at Walmart and this couple was there with their child. The mother said something along the lines of what is their child doing. Her husband replied I don't know you know she is (the R word). I looked at my husband and said you better get me out of here fast. Because its not going to be pretty if that man calls his child the R word again.

ღ Life According To Milo ღ said...

You have done such a great job with your kids, no one could ever fault you for having frazzled nerves from time to time. I wouldn't think that there is a parent out there who doesn't do the same. Heck, even the Duggars say there are times that their kids will push them to their limits. Lol. Anyway, you have done well by your kids, anyone that says anything different is wrong. Ask your kids! : )..

Catherine said...

Dear Jill, Thank you for writing this. I hear me in your writing.
Thank you for your kind visits and good wishes for my birthday.
Blessings my friend, Catherine xo

Susan said...

Dear Jill, I've always thought you are to be commended. There's no reason you should have to explain yourself either - it's your blog and your love and respect for your children, and yourself, has always shined through :D)

Jen..The Butterfly Effect said...

Your children indeed are the gems of your life Jill! Chuck all the negative energy and love yourself and family wholesome! Your kids are the rarest of kind...truly unique! So what if that makes them extra special?Or extra attention seeking? :)