Parenting is not just a joyride. Though we enjoy it and though it’s worth every bit, it is a journey where you can never give up. You have to keep trying for your children, you have to help them keep trying and neither one of you can ever give up.There are times when exhaustion takes over, the mind seems to draw a blank at everything and right then when we are about to collapse there will be a new parenting challenge. But the rewards are priceless and that is the only reason why we all fall for it, all so willingly. Isn’t that true ?
They say it takes a village to raise a child. It is an engaging and responsible task for a parent. No wonder whenever and wherever you see parents meeting over coffee or dinner, you will find them talking about their kids. Talking about challenges and joys of parenting almost in the same breath. Kids need attention, love, affection, time and patience from a parent. They need some of that and many other important things outside of home. School, friends, fun, play, chat, hugs, giggles, laughter are part of the social acceptance of their existence.
All kids have these needs. Some kids are special. So they just have a bit more of needs right ? How does it change things ? Should it change things ?
It makes parenting more challenging for sure. Only a parent with a special needs child will know what that statement really means. But a parent never compromises with his/her responsibilities or love. Only we as a society do.
Yes, we have our biases, taboos and notions. All of them are inexplicable. Of all the challenges, I believe the most difficult ones that a special needs parent deals with are societal acceptance and ignorance. We spoke a bit about this in our post, “Thank You”.
We talk about it today again. We can choose to live in a bubble and keep thinking, “This has not happened to me. This cannot happen to me.” Or we could decide to be a bit more real, compassionate and responsible. Talk within the family, within your friend circle, at work, at your kid’s school. Talk to a parent with a special needs child. Help someone you know come out of the closet and talk about it. Educate yourself and show your compassion, show your understanding.
The more we openly talk, the more will be the awareness and the better will be the acceptance. Just one small step will make a humongous difference. The burden this little gesture will take off the shoulders of a special needs parent is beyond words. These parents are heroes. They put up a brave fight for their kids every day. They have the audacity to rise up and challenge life and the circumstances it presents.
You celebrate heroes. You recognize their victories. You do not hush them up.
April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day. Statistics say 1in 68 children could be on the autism spectrum. An all time high and an alarming number. Science has done little to help the diagnosis and cure so far. As human beings and fellow parent’s let us do our little bit.