The Special Needs Mother Who Wasn't

The Special Needs Mother Who Wasn’t

Several months ago, a rather popular blog was posted about what defines a special needs family. While I respect the author’s opinion that special needs should be defined by something in the family requiring additional attention, I was left in complete shock at the acceptance and encouragement that this blog received. How could anyone judge what they do not see at home? How could anyone assume that a child who has lost a parent does not qualify as special needs? Special needs are not only physical but also psychological, and intellectual. Autism is not a physical disability, but would anyone question that autism is not a special need? Autistic children suffer from a form of retardation. That itself is an intellectual disability even when taking away the social aspects. As a psychiatrist who works as a therapist with abused children, a parent who has special needs children, and as a parent that has that child that lost a parent, I found this blog extremely upsetting. I respect the opinion to say there should be a need. However, it should not be assumed that those children do not suffer any number of emotionally driven mental conditions that the mother did not disclose to you upon saying there wasn’t a household disability before her husband’s passing.

Then there were the comments on Facebook about it. “Well if she doesn’t understand that she’s not qualified as a special needs family maybe she is sn after all, lolz.” Implying what exactly? That she’s so stupid she’s retarded? When did it become a joke to suffer from a disability? I would knock you out if you ever used that term in regards to my autistic child who happens to suffer from social retardation. Perhaps some of her issues stem from growing up without her father the first several years of her life when he died. I can assure you that the night terrors she suffers from and her fear that her dad will pass away now stem from that fact that her father died when she was a baby. She’s 15 and these still happen weekly.

Do I have a special needs family? You’re damn right I do, but I’m not going to sit there and tell anyone that their family suffers any less because their child can talk, walk, or has more function than myself, my children, or my husband. Am I special needs? I am. I’m also an MD and hold a PhD in psychology. The judgment I saw online is disgusting and horrifying when considering everything you want for your children. You say you want your children to be considered normal, to have the same opportunities as everyone else. But then you ridicule a family for not being special needs enough? Instead of assuming what goes on in someone else’s home, we should be thankful that someone reached out and attempted to connect with you and be empathetic, even if it was misguided in your eyes. Is that worse than people who refuse to acknowledge our children? Get a reality check people. The truth is we do not know and we have no right to judge until we live their life.

Invisible disabilities?

Oh heck yes they exist.

Invisible sn families?

That’s a joke right? No one has an invisible disability.

You see the problem?

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