Ten Commandments for Parents of Special Needs Children

Author Unknown

  1. Take one day at a time, and take that day positively. You don’t have control over the future, but you do have control over today.
  2. Never underestimate your child’s potential. Allow him, encourage him, expect him to develop to the best of his abilities.
  3. Find and allow positive mentors: parents and professionals who can share with you their experience, advice, and support.
  4. Provide and be involved with the most appropriate educational and learning environments for your child from infancy on.
  5. Keep in mind the feelings and needs of your spouse and your other children. Remind them that this child does not get more of your love just because he gets more of your time.
  6. Answer only to your conscience: then you’ll be able to answer to your child. You need not justify your actions to your friends or the public.
  7. Be honest with your feelings. You can’t be a super-parent 24 hours a day. Allow yourself jealousy, anger, pity, frustration, and depression in small amounts whenever necessary.
  8. Be kind to yourself. Don’t focus continually on what needs to be done. Remember to look at what you have accomplished.
  9. Stop and smell the roses. Take advantage of the fact that you have gained a special appreciation for the little miracles in life that others take for granted.
  10. Keep and use a sense of humor. Cracking up with laughter can keep you from cracking up from stress.

Courtesy of The Special Parent

Definition Wednesday – Bi-Polar Disorder

This week’s definition is Bipolar Disorder…  As it manifests in children, since that is the focus here.

Bipolar disorder is not a single disorder, but a category of mood disorders defined by the presence of one or more episodes of abnormally elevated mood, clinically referred to as mania. Individuals who experience manic episodes also commonly experience depressive episodes or symptoms, or mixed episodes which present with features of both mania and depression. These episodes are normally separated by periods of normal mood, but in some patients, depression and mania may rapidly alternate, known as rapid cycling. The disorder has been subdivided into bipolar I, bipolar II and cyclothymia based on the type and severity of mood episodes experienced.

And in regards to children:

Children with bipolar disorder do not often meet the strict DSM-IV definition. In pediatric cases, the cycling can occur very quickly (see section above on rapid cycling).[29]

Children with bipolar disorder tend to have rapid-cycling or mixed-cycling. Rapid cycling occurs when the cycles between depression and mania occur quickly, sometimes within the same day or the same hour. When the symptoms of both mania and depression occur simultaneously, mixed cycling occurs.

Definition Source: Wikipedia

Bipolar disorder (also known as manic-depression) is a serious but treatable medical illness. It is a disorder of the brain marked by extreme changes in mood, energy, thinking and behavior. Symptoms may be present since infancy or early childhood, or may suddenly emerge in adolescence or adulthood. Until recently, a diagnosis of the disorder was rarely made in childhood. Doctors can now recognize and treat bipolar disorder in young children.

Definition Source: CABF

Other Resources:

Tuesday Blogger

The Tuesday Blogger function here is on hiatus for just a little bit as I make some contacts and get those interviews for you.  Trust that I am doing that, and hopefully it will be up again soon.

Monday Headlines

District Looks at Adding Special Education Category

Children ages birth to 5 are served by the center, which focuses on early identification and intervention for developmental disabilities. Last year, 10 children were identified as developmentally delayed, a last-resort diagnosis for children who are building skills significantly slower than their peers.

Read Full Article Here

On the one hand… Great!  Add that new category to help those kids!  On the other hand, I wonder why it wasn’t a category already?

Intensive Needs Funding Examined 

Children in wheelchairs, forever breathing with the help of ventilators, or so mentally handicapped they need full-time nurses to help them process the world around them. These are the intensive-needs students who cost the Anchorage School District the most money to educate: an estimated $75,000 a year each.

Read Full Article Here

The article itself?  Great.  These educators are doing what they need to to be able to educate the intensive-needs kids.  I have NO problem with what they’re doing.  Basically they just need more money to do it, and they’re going to the state for help.  But, if you really want to get mad?  Read some of the comments.  I guarantee you’ll be good and pissed off.

Great Expectations

None of us, unless you adopted an older child who was already disabled, knew what we were getting into.  Personally, I certainly never expected to have one kid I never knew what he would do, and the other in need of heart surgery.  Never.

I had and have expectations of greatness for them.  Those dreams that creep in while you’re pregnant.  Or even before, when you think of the future.

I’ve had to give some of those up.  My husband has had to give some of his up.  For example, my oldest?  Will not be the next Einstein.  Now, my expectation is to get him through high school without harming anybody, and learning to control his anger.  My second son?  Will never ever play professional football.  Nor peewee.  Nor will my husband get to coach him.  A tackle could displace his aorta.  Those are just a couple of things.  But there are little things along the way.

We love our children.  We would die for them.  We go above and beyond to stretch them to be the best they can be, while at the same time, trying to make them painfree, taking care of them, while trying to teach them to care for themselves.  Some of us are teaching them how to learn.  Some, how to take meds on their own.  Some, how to deal with pain management.  Some, how to make the best life out of a too short life.  Along the way, though, we’ve had to give up some of the stuff we, as their parents, thought they had the potential to accomplish.

What dreams did you give up?

Free for All Friday

Got a rant?  Got a praise?  Got an issue?  Let it all out here, on Free for All Friday.  All you have to do is get it all out either in a blog post (I’ll link it here) or right here in the comments.  Get too it!

Thursday Tools

C’mon people!  What do you use in your life that makes it easier to deal with?

What do you need more help with?

Use the comments!  This is a community.

Wednesday Definition: Advocacy

What is advocacy? What does it mean to be an advocate for our child? Find out what I think after the jump. Continue Reading

Thoughts on Bias

One thing about dealing with Joseph’s particular issues is the bias he encounters.  He’s the “bad” kid at school.  If someone took something or did something, etc. all eyes point to him.  To be fair – a lot of the time it really was him.  But it’s so heartbreakingly sad to me that this is the standard for him.

We ran into that situation last night.  Something important and dangerous was missing from my parents house, where he was during the day.  It was eventually found, Joseph had nothing to do with it.  But that was the very first place it was assumed it was.  Joseph took it.  Assumed every time.

There’s nothing I can do about it, except what we’re doing – working on his impulse control.  But I can’t change the assumptions about him.  They’re based on past behavior.  All I can do is make sure that I am not jumping to any conclusions.  That I am fair to him.  That he can count on me to listen to his side.  Granted, the discipline and consequences have to be in place for when it IS him…  But he needs to know that he’ll get a fair ear in his mom.  I can do that.

I just wish this wasn’t a burden a 7 year old boy has to carry around with him.

Tuesday Bloggers

So…  I’m waiting on some interviews of other bloggers, so I don’t have any for you today…  But I’m on the lookout and need your help.  If you know a blogger (IRL or virtually through their blog) who is a parent to special needs kids, let me know about them!  OR if you know someone who WAS a special need kid, let me know about them!  I’d like to interview them about the childhood experiences too.