Dear Newly Inducted Special Needs Parent


I see you.

And I don’t mean I physically see you (though I do). I mean I see inside you — I see the storm that’s tearing your soul apart, bit by unimaginable bit.

I can see you because I am you. Not now you, of course, but rather future you. And I’m here to say, I understand.

Whether you’re sitting in a hospital NICU or your car after a visit to a specialist’s office, your mother’s living room or your cubicle at work, I know your pain: a primal cocktail of fear and sadness and desperation and anger.

A feeling like none other you’ve experienced to date.

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“They” have told you the second worst thing you could hear as a parent: Your child has special needs. Your child will never walk, talk, hear, see, process, understand, feel, be able to [insert physical/cognitive/functional ability here]. Your child is “not normal”.

And whether your child has suffered a sudden brain injury or suffers from a congenital disease doesn’t matter. The end result is the same: This child’s future is not the one you had imagined. This child is not the one you had imagined.

This child will not have the adolescence about which you have spent hours and days and months and maybe even years fantasizing. This child will need far more than you have anticipated. This child will become at once a trial and a blessing.

You feel guilty for having these emotions, I know. What kind of parent perceives her child as a trial? You should, after all, be glad s/he is here at all. And OHMYGOD you are. You are so indescribably thankful. You are so filled with love for this child, you could burst at any moment. But you are also worried. Very, very worried.

You feel guilty for questioning how you might possibly give this child the care s/he needs. You feel guilty for wondering how you will provide your other children with the attention they require. You feel guilty for fretting about how you will pay for all the medical expenses. You feel guilty for contemplating what all this will mean for your family routine and dynamics.

Some judgy types will jump to curse you for thinking of your child as a burden because that’s all they see in your raw emotion. They will ignore the undying love you have for your child. They will ignore how incredibly grateful you are to have your child. They will ignore your desire to do whatever it takes to ensure your child is safe and happy and healthy. Instead, they will preach about how they would never ever ponder these questions, or worse, if they’re special needs parents as well, how they have never had these same feelings.

Forget them. They’re liars. And perhaps convincing themselves that they would never is just their way of coping.

You will mourn for your child in the same way one might mourn a death. And you are mourning a death, if you think about it. The death of the hopes and dreams you had for your child. The death of the plan you had imagined for your family.

So go ahead and mourn that death. There is nothing unnatural or heartless or improper about it. It is part of the grieving process. It is necessary.

You will be bombarded with “God only gives special children to special people” and “This is God’s plan” from well-meaning people who think they’re doing you a service or simply don’t know what to say.

Grit your teeth and bear it. None of it’s true, so don’t worry. God hasn’t specially selected your child to suffer a lifetime of physical and emotional pain. He hasn’t chosen you out of many to live in agony on purpose. God isn’t that cruel.

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You will see parents with “typical” children in the grocery store and at the park. You will see pregnant women smoking or drinking caffeinated beverages. You will see parents abusing their children, both verbally and physically. And you will hate each and every one of these people with all the darkness and malice your soul can muster, for how do they, with their carelessness and ungratefulness, get to escape your child’s and your living hell?

You are perfectly justified in having these feelings. But remember, it isn’t their fault. And while we’re talking about fault, it isn’t yours, either. So indulge in these emotions privately. Most importantly, don’t let them eat you up inside. They are perfectly natural but also potentially dangerous. Entertain them with caution.

Your child will grow and flourish and defy expectation. The cloud of depression and anxiety and despair in which you live will thin. You will feel better. Much better. Many of your initial fears will be allayed as your child comes into him/herself and his/her body. Some of those fears will remain, but they will not burn as hot in your heart.

Some may mistake your poise and grace and got-shit-togetherness as a sign that you’re “over it.” They may expect you to be just as social and able and willing and available as everyone else. After all, parenthood is hard for everyone, so what’s the big deal? What makes your life so much harder than theirs?

Just remember that they don’t know — can’t know — what it’s like to live your life. They don’t know just how many therapists and doctors your child must see, each with his or her own separate set of “homework” assignments to tackle. They don’t know that every play date is just another therapy session in disguise. They don’t know how much time and energy it takes to get one’s shit together every day. Their jobs are hard. But yours — yours is hard in a different sort of way.

The fact that your job is hard does NOT, however, make you a saint or a superwoman or a better parent. It simply makes you capable of doing what needs to be done, just like everybody else. What needs to be done for you and yours may take more time and energy. That’s the only difference between you and them.

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Eventually, while you may still ponder the what-ifs on occasion, you will mostly be unable to imagine life any other way. You will be comfortable in your routine. You will be well.

So let me remind you, newly inducted special needs parent, that I see you. I see inside you at the storm that’s tearing your soul apart, bit by unimaginable bit. And I promise you, it will get better. It will be OK. You will be OK. Most importantly, your child will be OK.

And I know this because I am you. Not now you, of course, but future you.

Related post: I See You Over There

About the writer


Lola Lolita is a wife, mother, educator and chronic sufferer from anxiety, immaturity and children. When she's not grading papers, neglecting the laundry and letting her kids watch too much TV, she can be found both writing and editing others' work at and Follow her on Facebook at Sammiches & Psych Meds and MockMom and on Twitter at @SamPsychMeds and @MockMomDotCom.

From Around the Web


darlene 4 months ago

Thank you.

Jan 5 months ago

Thank you! I really needed to see this today <3

tina 6 months ago

I love how sj put it. Differently abled kids.because I know my daughter is not disabled. She is autistic, high functioning and fully verbal and comes with wonderful abilities but also with many challenges ( especially in school setting ) but it has always irked me when a teacher talks about her disability. I identity with this post, she was just diagnosed last year so were still figuring things out. I also find myself feeling lost because her special needs are nowhere near many other kids needs but she still has her own special needs and struggles neurotypical kids don’t face. I feel like we aren’t special needs enough for than community but we also don’t fit in regular community because of her struggles… We’ll figure I out. Thank you for voicing what so many people are going thru

Deborah 7 months ago

My firstborn is autistic and blind, there is nothing that can be done to help him see and I accept that without much issue. Things are a little more frustrating at times, but until my second and third children were born I didn’t know any different anyway. No, I can’t imagine life any other way. It takes us a little longer to get in the car or get ready in the mornings, and although he’s eight, he’s just recently out of diapers, but he’s my baby boy and I love him exactly the way he is. He has talents that not everyone has and other people have sight that he doesn’t. Truth be told, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if we woke up and he was “normal” one day. This IS normal for us. :)

Jen Dixon 7 months ago

This made me cry, smile and was 150% relatable. My incredible son Matthew is just that, incredible. Lord knows everyday has it’s challenges-but it also has amazing moments too. I wouldn’t trade a minute with my kiddo❤️

Beth Arsenault 7 months ago

HUGS to all the parents out there who struggle and battle and perservere EVERY DAY, every waking hour of every day, for their beautiful children, the ones with special needs kids and ESPECIALLY the ones with multiple special needs kids. You are not alone, and you are AMAZING.

Autumn Bragg Drinkard 7 months ago

This 9 year old beauty may be nonverbal by the world’s standard, but I will be her advocate and her voice. She will live with me always, but I don’t mind. My Dixie Jane is my heart. …. I cried I experienced all the emotions again just like I wrote it myself. Beautifully written.

Andrea Orr 7 months ago

Thank you so much for this.. I am struggling and grieving. He was diagnosed with ASD (Asperger’s) a few months ago.. Some days I am great and other days I just want to curl into a ball and sob.

Kellie Richards 7 months ago

It’s like I wrote this myself…

Susan Miller 7 months ago

You are doing a great job Momma! My son was 2 1/2 when he was diagnosed with ASD. He is almost 5 now and while our path may be different than yours, I can say things get better. Maybe not easier but better. You will find your new normal and do everything in your power for your child. Its OK to feel scared and angry but always remember, you are doing a great job.

Jennifer Cupp 7 months ago


Kerry Melinda Daniels 7 months ago

Well-written. Very true. My beautiful boy is 8 and has autism. No one really understands all that I have given up in my life to raise him.

Gs mum 7 months ago

Omg. In tears your so spot on and I’m so blessed and things are way better than can be just not typicsl and it does hurt its a learning curve no ine can prepare you for. It helps to knwo others ‘get it’ thank you

Jayme Lowenstein 7 months ago

I read this, and i have read other articles/blog posts and it still amazes me that there could be others out there that feel how i feel and have felt. Thanks to all those who “get it”

Chyra Marie Lynch 7 months ago


Diane Bo 7 months ago

Great post!!!!

Joanna Andrea Osorno 7 months ago


Lisa Bailey 7 months ago

Thank you

Crystal Woods 7 months ago

I’ve read this multiple times because I am new to this… And its easy to forget. My son is 2 1/2 with ASD… And non verbal. The rollercoaster of emotions is outrageous. I go from thinking there’s no way he has ASD. Look how smart he is. To thinking oh my God its worse than we even realize. I think what could I have done differently… I blame myself, I blame his father. I cry and scream and give up, only to wipe my tears and swear to my son that I’ll never give up. I’m scared that I won’t know how to be a special needs mom. I’m scared that I’ll struggle so much with this that my son won’t know that I love him more than my own life. I’m scared of trying so hard and being wrong and fucking him up. I feel jealousy. Bitterness. Oh your 3 year old didn’t sleep through the night last night? Mine has never slept through the night. I haven’t gotten more than 2 hours sleep in a 24 hour period in almost 3 years. Eating, in his mind, is optional… And forget about potty training anytime soon. People tell me that maybe my son has nothing to say yet and that’s why he’s non verbal. Family has told me there’s nothing wrong with my son… Its me. And honestly I just want to punch everyone in their fat opinionated faces.
So if anyone else is new… Or still struggling like me, save this… And remember you are NOT alone and you ARE a great mom (or dad).

Sarah Beery 7 months ago

I wish i would have read this 22 years ago!!!

Annie 7 months ago

Thank you. My son was born with a congenital heart defect and I don’t know of anyone who truly understands how hard it can be.

Stephanie Lynn Milbury 7 months ago

Yeah some days I need to remind myself it’s going to be ok, I might need to bookmark this and read it again on a bad day

Sara Gremlin 7 months ago

Yes, all of this is true. My premie son is 27. I still remember the days and there are times I am still angry as well as times I laugh at my mistakes. The most important thing to remember is: You are not alone.

Megan Nigg Hilpert 7 months ago

This was so spot on! Much love to all the special needs mommas out there!

Jamie Stewart 7 months ago

Wow… right on the money…

Shawn Marie Jazdzewski 7 months ago

A tear jerker, love my son more then words can say.

Letto Abraxas 7 months ago

I cried my heart out. It was like i wrote this. (I love you Ernesto. You are my heart, i am your voice)

Crystal Wright 7 months ago

I cried. Hard, reading this

Audrey Sheff Best 7 months ago


Katie Armstead 7 months ago

Love my special needs girl.

alice 7 months ago

My son has Aspergers he was so different and still is his high IQ and lack of imagination leaves me with a 12 year adult fun to hang with and talk to. Sports isnt something he can do his perfection and temper wont allow it. But college is a for sure thing with highest scores for ISATs and at the top of not just his grade but the district. Special needs come in many forms but the parent of normal child looks at my child like he is an evil disrespectful brat crowds make him super anxious loudness makes him anxious he no longer hides under chairs or in closets bit he gets hyper loud and unruley. To me he is perfect. My daughter is an IUGR preemie at 7 months old we dont really know the effects it will have on her she is just now learning to roll over. Physically shebmay be delayed but mentally like her brother she is advanced. To me she is perfect. I want my kids exactly as they arei fight good fights. Im not fighting my kids over their fights in school or being vrats at home im fighting for them to be as accepted as any other smart functioning human being in society. Time to wake up our sobcalled special need kids are the future so MAKE ROOM or get out of the way….

Kathryn Stinton 8 months ago


I wondered if you’d be kind enough to give me permission to put a link to your blog post “Dearly Newly Inducted Special Needs Parent,” it’s such great writing and would really help the teachers I write and deliver training for.

Many thanks

Chantell 9 months ago

Thank you.

Amy 9 months ago

Wow I felt as if I were reading my own story. The doctors told me my baby girl would be lucky to live twenty four hours and that she had no brain. The worst part was having to tell this news to my then nine year-old daughter and nine year-old step daughter that one of the twins wasn’t going to be coming home with us, My daughter simply said, “doctors Don’t know everything mommy, they could be wrong” but with how accurate medical machines are today, I completely believed the doctors and told her, “honey there not wrong” , but in my heart never mourned or even entertained the idea of her dying. Today my little girl is almost three years old and does have 90%of her brain the other 10% never grew due to how severe her condition was. She has survived three brain surgeries a fighter. She is the happiest little girl I have met. I 100%feel lucky to be her mommy. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through but I couldn’t imagine my life any other way. <3

sophia 11 months ago

This is so true i love every word of this made me cry. I am a mom tp a child with cerebral palsy. It has been very challenging but fulfilling. I am so grateful for her.

lisa 11 months ago

This is the best. I have an adult daughter with down syndrome and anytime I mention anything on fb groups for parents of children with ds about any negative feelings I get blasted by so many that I haven’t accepted my daughter, that I was chosen by god for this, etc etc. I rarely hear from anyone who understands the love/hate thing

Kendra 11 months ago

Thank you so much for writing this article! Absolutely incredible and uplifting words.

Tove Stakkestad 11 months ago

Spot on – in every way! Thank you for writing – I will share on my FB page. This deserves exposure.

Liza 11 months ago

Thank you. This was perfectly written in every way.

Lola Lolita 11 months ago

Hello, post author here. I don’t normally respond to negativity, particularly because I respect Scary Mommy founder, Jill, and her regular readers so much and have found a wonderful sense of community and connection here. However, I feel compelled to respond this time.

To those of you who took the time to actually read the article, I thank you and hope it brought you or someone you know some comfort. When my son, now 4, was born and suffered complications from a stroke in utero, I felt so very alone and scared and confronted with emotions I had no idea what to do with. I would have benefited from an article wherein another person undergoing a similar journey had told me I was not alone. Every day is a struggle for my son, who now has hemiparesis, cerebral palsy, and speech and language delays, yet I wouldn’t change it for the world. I now have three beautiful children and cherish them with all my heart.

To those of you who latched onto the caffeine or living hell parts and obviously did not read the article or skimmed it, looking only for things you didn’t like before leaving hurtful and egregiously out of line comments, shame on you, especially those of you suggesting I am not worthy of raising children. I hope you’ll remember next time that your words are directed toward actual people with their own demons and struggles and paths in this world and that you are not licensed to cut them down because you made a choice not to read or understand what was actually being said. I would hope you could muster some respect for the authors who put themselves on the line here on this wonderful site as well as the site owner who is providing a community for parents to laugh, cry, and share with one another.

Much love to all the parents out there, special needs or otherwise, who are looking for companionship and understanding on this very difficult journey. There are so many people who understand and support you. Keep your heads high, and please don’t let negativity here prevent you from coming back and reading all the insightful, honest, and frequently humorous things the contributors here have to share.

Joy Pitts 11 months ago

Thank you for this. As a mother of a three year old with CP I struggle with the new raw emotions each day. I appreciate how this embraces the fear and worry but let’s me know it’s ok and eventually it will just be a routine of ok. Special needs parents need that unspoken support.

ElliesMommy 11 months ago

I have a special needs child. Is there days where its “living hell” YES! Does that mean have my daughter is living hell? Not even remotely! My child does not have a severe disability but just keeping track of everything is exhausting. Dr appointments. Medications. School information for teachers. Therapies at school. Diet restrictions. Most of which a “normal” child’s parent might deal with just not to the extreme. The worst thing though is havingthe judgement done sob obviously. Being asked “why don’t you fix her” my child is a beautiful part of my life and I wouldn’t change her at all but the things surrounding her to make sure she gets the best. That can be a living hell

Tobi 11 months ago

Beautifully written and very true, particularly agree with,
“You will mourn for your child in the same way one might mourn a death. And you are mourning a death, if you think about it. The death of the hopes and dreams you had for your child. The death of the plan you had imagined for your family.”

I found it was important to mourn for the child I (not unreasonably) expected, so I could fully embrace the wonderful (but very unexpected) child I got. The only thing I would add is that mourning must never be done when your child is around. Mourning is for private; your child should feel only your full and complete love, whatever the disability.

Jennifer 11 months ago

Thank you, thank you, thank you Dana Marie.

Jennifer 11 months ago

Good luck Jamie, sending you and yours much love.

Jennifer 11 months ago

It’s nice for you (and your little ones) that the experience isn’t an exhausting ordeal. I’m astonished that you’re so dismissive of parents who struggle with their circumstances. I wonder if, as well as missing the hard parts of the special needs journey, you may also have missed the compensations – empathy, compassion, a broader world view, kindness..

Jennifer 11 months ago

It’s just the scariest, most helpless feeling in the world, right? My daughter has difficult to control epilepsy and watching those convulsions take her away from me, it’s just The Worst. I’m so afraid I’ll lose her, it’s beyond any other fear I could imagine. I had no idea I would need so much strength and stamina to be a parent and no idea I wouldn’t get to have the healthy daughter I wanted. I was so unprepared! You just assume, especially after one healthy child, that everything will go a certain way. Well. It’s been and continues to be, a learning curve. The thing is, if this hadn’t happened, neither she or I would know what other people go through. We’d be ignorant of their lonely paths and their private battles. I take a lot less for granted and I listen more now. I plan to ensure our experience of grief and fear is used to bring comfort to others. That’s my promise.

Kayleen Campbell 11 months ago

Yes, 1000 times. You will be okay. In fact, you will be great! But some days will be tougher than others. But I promise, you will find your “normal” and you will be okay.

Nicole Olivo 11 months ago

Seems like people only read two lines, caffeine and living hell, and ignored the rest. Yes life can be overwhelming sometimes and it can feel like a living hell, when your child is overwhelmed and your doing everything you know to calm them and you end up with a concussion because of the flailing, it’s hard. And you have to step away for a min because you do everything in your power to make sure they don’t see your struggle, so you can shake off the negative and come back positive and ready to help them learn to cope and thrive. When your child can’t understand why their stomach hurts from gas and it causes them to scream and flail for 6 hours straight and you have to keep them from hurting themselves, life can feel like a living hell, not because you have a special needs child but because your child is in pain and that hurts you as a parent. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your child and do everything in your power to make sure they world is theirs for the taking.

Courtney Martina 11 months ago

As a special needs mother (my son has Autism) and as an adult with special needs myself (I have Cerebral Palsy), I’m stunned at all the vitriol being slung toward this post.

It was beautifully and honestly written, and more than likely, a comfort to many.

The people lashing out about her supposedly saying that SN children are a “living hell” obviously and egregiously missed the point. And the commenters who seem to be so affronted by the caffeine comment:


My son is not my hell and neither is raising him-but grappling with what he’ll have to (and has already faced) face? That CAN be hell.

Not because I don’t love him, or because he’s a burden, but because I LOVE HIM SO MUCH, that I want to move the Earth and Stars for him, that I want to protect him from ALL harm/judgement/struggle, and I know that even on my best day-I cannot. That despite the depths of my love and devotion-he will still have a difficult and sometimes painful road ahead of him. A road that people without special needs or SN children will not understand….And the always wondering: Could I have done more? Should I be doing more?

It can, at times, be crushing.

I think that THAT is what the author was trying to say, and that to encourage all of us walking the SN path, that it does get better, and that we are good enough to take care of these children.

Sarah Lu 11 months ago

She’s not saying “raising her child is a living hell”, OR that caffeine is likened to child abuse (the abuse- “physical and emotional” is in a totally different sentence for Christs’ sake!) Not sure how you took that SO far out of context, but you’ve managed to miss the point. Completely. She’s saying that coping with all that comes along with it: death of a dream, guilt, unfairness, worry, etc., are hell at first, and all normal parts of grieving, so don’t beat yourself up for feeling whatever you’re feeling while you adjust, and that it will be okay.

Cheri Rose 11 months ago

I drank diet Mt dew and smoked during all 4 of my pregnancies and all of my children were born healthy.

Sheila Ryan 11 months ago

I drank soda both pregnancies n my kids r fine!

Katelynn Patterson 11 months ago

Mom of 2 Out of 3 kids with heart issues and opposite sides of the heart, have you. I did. Everything right, the second and third time and my kids mean more to me than anything in thw world so all I cam say to those of you “questioning” your choices, saying you did everything “right”…there is no”right”. You did the best you could. Those assholes that drink and smoke knowing they’re possibly damaging thwir unborn are gods way of protecting the kids of morons. Dont blame you for having kids that are deemed “different”. You have them because YOU are strong enough to help them. Those other fucking idiots dont and will never get it. Count it as a blessing. I do. 2 of 3 with heart issues and no history and opposite sides of the heart. Lost a parent, got a divorce and all that in 4 years and I’ve only just turned 30. Fuck them all. Love your babies. Admit your short comings and laugh when your kids are dicks. It’s the beauty in life. I promise.

Olivia Crowder 11 months ago

Do you people ever read the actual article or just the caption and think you know what it is about???

M.e. Schmemmy 11 months ago

Drinking caffeinated beverages while pregnant is careless?? And worthy of comparing to child abuse? I don’t think so. One causes zero harm (200mg a day is a completely harmless amount) and the other directly inflicts harm on a child. They are incomparable. Shame on you for lumping them together.

Sadee Larissa 11 months ago

The expectations that are put on pregnant women are ridiculous. Yes some women smoke, some drink, some do drugs for Christ sakes, and really at the end of the day it’s nodobys damn business. And for anybody to say that raising your child is a living hell regardless of the situation, is a piece of shit in my book. And to be so resentful. Suck it up. Those were the cards you were given, and there is nothing you can do to change it.

Liz DePaola Moran 11 months ago

This article is incredibly well written I have been in the special needs parenting club for 10 years. To the newly inducted member it will get better and you will have your own normal

Kate Louise Whittle 11 months ago

I’m a special needs mummy and proud!! New inductions welcome to our crazy but amazing world

Danielle Rogers 11 months ago

I think the point is, if you have a special needs child, it’s not always easy to understand how you were selected for that lot in life when you tried so hard to do everything “right.” When I lost a loved one, I spent months to years looking at people going about their business wondering how they could do what they were doing while I was in hell. I even told someone to be nice to their grandma because one day they would be sorry. I think this is similar. How can someone be abusive to themselves or their children when all the mother of a special needs kid wants is so simple? It’s perception. No one is intending to make us feel that way. Maybe I make no sense to others, but that’s how I see it. Incidentally, pregnant women can have caffeine and wine in very small quantities. I had a cup of coffee a day during the third trimester or I couldn’t stay awake. I worry more about people having babies they can’t and won’t take care of once they are actually here.

Monica Murray Brink 11 months ago

While I appreciate the overall sentiment, and can certainty relate to a large degree having 2 special needs sons myself, I take huge issue with saying that their, or my life is a “living hell”. Just like parenting my other kids without special needs, it’s my attitude and perspective that either leads me to happiness or demise. I get joy from all my children.

Cassandra Heaps 11 months ago

I like this article. I have a special needs child but not any of the special needs needs mentioned in the article. My 9 year old daughter has a mental illness. I wonder if it were something I did wrong during pregnancy. But in reality I know she got it from me! In fact she’s currently having a melt down about french fries.

Nicole 11 months ago

This is just what I needed to read right now. Today my son was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and I feel frozen. I feel like a can’t react to it, I just have to keep moving, make the appts, research the therapies, fill out 5 tons of paperwork. I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and dread the moment I have 5 mins of free time and finally let myself feel and process this.

Lisa Nolasco 11 months ago

A mon with a special needs baby will look at that and be pissed.

Lisa Nolasco 11 months ago

Its all about odds. A pregnant lady can drink like 1655 beers and have a non special needs kid. She can smoke 2 packs a day and have her kid come out healthy. Not condoning it but just saying. ..

Karen Orr Segovia 11 months ago

Wow! So many people really latched onto the whole caffeine thing and completely missed the point of the article. My grandma used to say that some people just can’t see the forest for the trees. Pretty sure these folks fit that description!

Debbie Neal 11 months ago

Caffeine really? How does that belong with child abuse and ungratefulness? My kids are healthy I drank soda! I hated parents with small babies because my first was 9lbs 8oz and 22in long people argued with me when I brought her home she had to be 6 months and by the time she was 6 months she was walking and talking people argued she was a year! She came out my vagina I know how old she is! My second was 16in long and 6lbs 11oz so small but by from birth she sat up and looked around she’s 3 months now and crawling and standing already

Ashleigh Marrs Riggs 11 months ago

I found a piece of me in this article. Thank you to the author for saying what my heart feels and I could never put into words as you did.

Meghan Vanden Brook 11 months ago

Them and can’t fix it. So ladies, empathy and understanding need to be brought to the table. Not finger pointing and judgment.

Meghan Vanden Brook 11 months ago

All parents have a hell to go through with their child/children. But just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there. A child that is “normal” at the park may have anxiety off the charts and cry for hours or make themselves sick. You may struggle for hours a day to get them to sleep, to school or even eat. As a parent you sob because you have failed tbe

Alyssa Bowen Schlicher 11 months ago


Kristi Williams- Daskam 11 months ago

Um I would like to point out that Obgyn’s say its ok to drink up to 300mg of caffeine. So to group that in with smoking and abusing a child is really not ok. I agree with the article besides that, but that just made this 7 month pregnant lady who drinks a half a cup of coffee in the morning feel like total shit.

Jamie Bruner Gardner 11 months ago

Another post that hits home for me! Thank you so much for sharing this!

Rebecca M. Kiefer 11 months ago

We all live some sort of hell at some point with our children. Nobody gets out unscathed. Nobody gets so lucky as to never feel fear or pain or worry. I’m shocked at the audacity of anyone thinking motherhood is a throw down over who gets the better deal and exactly how to go about that. There is not one of us who does this perfectly. And not one who needs to.

Petra McCafferty 11 months ago

Poor choice of words but not the point. My daughter is autistic. It’s the feeling that some people drink and do drugs during pregnancy…. And have a baby free of such things…. That’s makes you wonder

Becky Yarbrough 11 months ago

This is an incredible article. The only part I didn’t agree with was the God part. I don’t think he is a cruel God, but I believe he does choose the strongest people for this journey. My son was born with HIE grade 2 and has cerebral palsy. All our hopes and dreams of him being a sports star is out the window. But I love him and will fight the world for him regardless. Because of everything we have gone through, I’ve had to grow up and realize the important things life. This journey has helped me grow as a person. His daddy also has a neurological disease. Both my guys have taught me life is precious and family is the most important thing.

Preeti Mohan 11 months ago

My mother used to teach in a school for kids who needed more individual attention, like those with autism or Down syndrome. She then went on to become an art therapist. Now she runs a music and arts centre for them.
Even though she isn’t the ‘parent’ she still invests a lot of her time and energy. I know she too has off days with her kids. Days when she comes home with bruises. It takes a different kind of patience and care.
The bliss that they give her, unlike us, is very different.

Katherine Gansel 11 months ago

Thank you for putting into words those thoughts and feelings that have been in my head, bouncing around in there all alone. It is so heartwarming to know that I am not alone! Thank you!

Kaylene Pryor 11 months ago

Wow, I feel like I could have written this.. Thank you <3 mom of an almost 4 year old boy born with a rare congenital blood disorder. Just went through bone marrow transplant – holding strong! :)

Jamie 11 months ago

Wow! This is my life, this is the truth I live daily! I was just sitting here crying because my daughter is back in a treatment facility for her mental disability. She ran away twice this past week, and attempted suicide once. The second time she ran away she was gone so long there was an Amber Alert, and it was set to hit the National Media just five minutes after they found her! My daughter is a chosen child. Adopted out of Foster Care, We had no idea she was “special needs” until 9 months after her adoption finalized. At the age of 4 she was diagnosed as Bi-Polar Mixed, ADHD, ODD, ICD, PTSD, and Reactive Attachment Disorder. I have a list of 6 different medications they use to treat these disorders.. Only 6 left that she has not been on, and off of because they failed to work. She is only 12 years old, and I have been told repeatedly that there is no hope. I have to prepare myself for permanent institutionalization. I refuse, and keep trying.. Every day, I just try to get through it. I have been Mourning the childhood she could have had for years now. Long red hair, green eyes.. absolutely stunning! Infinite potential..But her prenatal drug exposure, abandonment, starvation, and lack of human contact for the first 2 years of her life did so much damage. I absolutely love this page.. because you always post something that hits home for me! It is like you are talking about my life! Thank you so much for sharing this! I may still be crying, but I am now smiling as well!

Melody K Johnson 11 months ago

You know it’s funny all you naysayers are right…. we should just be happy for our special needs children just as they are. We shouldn’t be angry at a world where other kids make fun and won’t be their friends, where teachers blame us instead of accepting their diagnosis and doing their part as educators to give them the same quality education as every other child, we shouldn’t ever wish that rather them taking them to 4 different types of therapy 6 times a week for their 5 different diagnosis we were actually taking them to baseball or football or soccer practices. No, we shouldn’t feel any anger, or feel like our children got shortchanged at all ever in anyway. When people whisper and sneer and stare when our children are mid meltdown over sensory overload we should accept it with a smile. When our child is barely verbal and not only can’t express their needs but not even their feelings we shouldn’t feel like it’s unfair and that they and we have been robbed of a bit of joy in life. Screw anyone who wants to chastise any parent for feeling that way. I love my special needs children with every ounce of my being and that’s the reason I get up every single damn day and make the best of it despite such a cruel world. I live for their appointments and their tiny successes because they are HUGE in my eyes. YES, YES, when those times come where they begin to regress or therapy stops working or some other child at school picks on them because they are different….. I cry, sometimes I scream into my pillow, I have in my private conversations with GOD himself asked WHY, why my children, why did you think I was strong enough for them, why does it have to be this way. I’m not ashamed of that. I’d be ashamed of being the parent who doesn’t honestly except and deal with those feelings and talk them out…. I don’t want to be ever the kind of parent that fakes it for the world, I’M keeping it real for myself and for my children.

Kelly Lynch 11 months ago

let me try to clarify – when you are going through the grieving process of finding out you are a mom to a special needs kid, you see other moms/pregnant ladies doing all sorts of innocent and fancy free things that you suspect could possibly have landed you in this special and lonely and terrifying place, and you unreasonably hate them with every fiber of your being, because you wonder why you don’t get to never give that coffee during pregnancy a second thought as they have the freedom of doing. obviously abuse is more easy to be angry at, but the anger is not rational, or understanding, or sympathetic. it is jealous, ravenous, hateful. it wants revenge. you drank coffee in pregnancy and never give it a second thought. I drank it and will forever wonder if it resulted in a kid who can’t walk, talk, or eat. so therefore I will sometimes, in my dark days that come more infrequently with time, wonder why the hell you got so lucky and I did not?

Anastasia Bodnar 11 months ago

I don’t have a child with special needs but I understand the agonizing over everything paired with a little resentfulness. My first daughter was stillborn and I agonize daily over what I might have done differently to prevent her death and I still somewhat resent women who are cavalier about their pregnancy yet end up with a healthy baby, and resent those parents who mistreat their children. Why should they deserve children when my child died? Many hugs for parents who are struggling to find the grace to accept the unfairness of this life.

Kathryn Jack Camp 11 months ago

when my son stoped speaking at 1.. damm straight it was hell. were the yrs…the 3 long yr he didnt speak, have meltdown so bad hes lash out, losing my entire family, not haveing dr believe me that something was wrong…..was all that hell… better effing believe it. my sons now 6, speaks amasing well, is now starting into some normal first grade class…and it still hell somedays. but see i’m truthful, our sons dignoses hit us hard. our first child. but omg what he has taught us. we are better people because of him.

Kaye West Owens 11 months ago

I have two special needs children and I didn’t even get further than the “living hell” part to read the whole article. Raising spec need kids isn’t a living hell, it’s actually a whole different and fascinating view at life, it’s absolutely NOT a disability. As for how I feel about that “typical” child and their parent, not my monkey, not my circus so there’s never any resentment, in fact, if I resent anything it’s parents of spec needs kids who make raising them seem like a huge and exhausting ordeal for it is not, it’s just not at all boring, ever but “typical” sure can be. Just sayin’.

Chantel Galaz 11 months ago

My son is special needs in that he has to wear a hearing aid and his ears didn’t develop correctly. It’s a small special need, but even I can relate to this article.

I will always question if I drank one too many diet cokes while I was pregnant and it made my son’s ears not develop correctly. Or was it because they were painting the office next to me at work? Or because I didn’t eat healthy enough or exercise enough?
It’s not that drinking caffeine is a horrible thing, but once you have a child born with any type of special need you start to question it all. Then you see someone doing all the exact same things you did, but their child doesn’t have any type of special need. This article isn’t about dang caffeine. It’s about the dark side of having a special needs child. If you don’t have a dark side or ever feel the pain and regret and jealousy… guess what, this article wasn’t written for you!!

Alanna Bugden 11 months ago

People please get over the coffee statement . Omg

Erica Campbell 11 months ago

Drinking caffeine? WTF? I did. And ate sushi *gasp*. My kid is awesome too.

Alyssa Bowen Schlicher 11 months ago

I love this article. So much. If you don’t agree, yay you! I guess you haven’t been to that dark place, and I hope you never confront those feelings. For this of us who have, this is very validating. It helps to know that you aren’t alone or a terrible person. These ignorant comments, though, do just the opposite.

Shelly Bruhn 11 months ago

Many commentees obviously didn’t read the whole article, just jumped to a conclusion, typical…

Princess Poppet 11 months ago

I’m an S.E. aide in public school. Ignore the rude comments. Love your blog.

Michelle Clark Reitz 11 months ago

I am a mother of a child with special needs. I think the intent of this article is spot on. I do, sometimes, feel an overwhelming sadness that I could mistake as hatred towards others with seemingly “normal” children. Then I remember that my experience has made me cherish every moment and helps me appreciate the little things. I would not consider my life or my child’s life as hellish. Have we had horribly excruciating times…. Yes! Even with these hard times I wouldn’t opt out. I’m in love with an amazing little boy that teaches me strength every day. I am blessed! As for caffeine… Cut the writer some slack. It’s really hard when you feel like you tried to do the very best you could while you were pregnant but it still didn’t end perfectly. You begin to overwhelm yourself with thoughts about what you could have done differently. You feel guilty. This isn’t about YOUR coffee drinking…. It’s about a parents mourning. Let it go!

Dana Marie Breadwards 11 months ago

I don’t have a special needs child. But for those of you saying “living hell is too harsh,y child is a gift etc” I get that. But have you considered there are parents out there with children that have more special needs than yours. Have you considered that they love their child too, just as much as you love yours, they’re just exhausted and want a little normalcy.

April Sumner 11 months ago

amen. thank you for this. Only point I disagree with is I am super woman, 😉 I lost my best friend essentially over my son’s autism diagnosis. I was going through a mourning process and she did not understand it or try to.

Kimberley Miller 11 months ago

I had a triple venti every other day … Lol had to get through my server shifts … I wouldn’t call that abuse I called it survival.

Julie Hoffman Kerr 11 months ago

Wow! No wonder most of us mom’s beat ourselves up and constantly feel like we are never good enough. Look at the way you all lash out and judge each other. I see women shaking their finger at a mom to be for that can of soda in her hand not knowing that MAYBE just MAYBE her doctor said it’s either a daily dose of caffeine for those debilitating migraines or taking a medication that’s really only been tested on pregnant rabbits. Then there’s the woman that chose to chastise another for her incorrect use of grammar….I’m sure she’s just LOVING my run on sentences. Mom’s with special needs children accusing moms of “normal children” (I deplore that description) of not getting it. Mom’s without a special needs child accusing the mom’s with of “whining” being “ungrateful” or worst of all “not deserving a child at all” WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE?!?!?!?! WHERE’S YOUR COMPATION. WHERE’S YOUR EMPATHY. WHAT MAKES YOU ALL SO PERFECT AND SELF RIGHTEOUS. Isn’t it hard enough with women/mom’s/parents shaming each other. All I can say is I’m glad I don’t know half of you. I really hope that most of you take a long look in the mirror. I doubt ANY of you will see a PERFECT reflection staring back.

Tammi Peterson 11 months ago

I have a special needs child who is the light of my life and who makes me smile everday. But there are days where I cry in the bathroom by myself because it’s just too much. 4 hours of sleep, work, therapy and Dr appt, special diet etc. Comments on here are exactly why I have to keep these feelings to myself. I can identify with this articles but also wouldn’t change a thing about my beautiful daughter.

Sheila Null 11 months ago

I think a better way to look at it is that ur mourning the life u thought ud have w ur child and seeing “typical” parents can make that sting

Wendy Wendel Therasse 11 months ago

I loved the article and some of the comments. Sadly, the judgements are a tad upsetting.

Not everyone will see everything the same way and as long as we sn moms are doing our best who is to judge?

Kimberly-Lance Jones 11 months ago

On another note, I wouldn’t trade my son for anything, but some of the challenges we have are extremely frustrating, and life CAN feel like a living hell at moments. When you go to church and your autistic son has had it, so he starts screaming and biting and freaking out! Just because the author says that life is a living hell at times is called HONESTY!!! I have “normal” kids also, guess what? They make life a living hell at times too!!!!!!!!’

Sheila Null 11 months ago

I’ve been there had those feelings and it was horribly selfish for me to think that way but even recognizing that u still feel what u feel and I think it’s good to b honest w urself but not take it out on others or judge people based on them and treat them w bitterness. We can’t help our gut feeling reactions to things but we can control how we let ourselves behave

Molly Jordan 11 months ago

Everyone’s living in their own form of hell you know nothing about. “The grass is always greener and all that BS.”

Trace KL 11 months ago

This made my heart clench up and skip a beat for a second. The beginning part, about all your dreams for your child hit me hard, because I’ve been there. My daughter is 9 now, and I feel so incredibly blessed, but at the same time, so guilty for feeling blessed. When I had my sonogram, the tech thought he saw something, and called my OB/GYN in. The worst part, at the time, was that they wouldn’t tell me anything, which of course sent my fear through the roof. The doctor ordered an amniocentesis, which was pretty horrific. I had this awful vision of my daughter being speared like a fish on that gigantic needle, and spent the whole time whimpering and praying for her to just hold still. Then, finally, the results came in, and the bottom totally dropped out of my world. It turned out to be a good thing that I was in denial and demanded them to do the test again. I refused to believe them when they told me that part of my baby’s brain and spine were growing outside of her body. I can’t recall the exact terminology now. At any rate, waiting for the results of the 2nd test and trying to decide if I could put my child through at most a week of horrible suffering before death just to hold her, or if I should be merciful and let her go now, as I was given the option of having a lethal dose of anesthesia injected into her, since I wasn’t quite 20 weeks yet. I was very, very lucky, because after all of the waiting and agonizing over what the best thing to do was, I got the results of the second test, and it turned out that the first test had gotten mixed up with someone else’s. My daughter turned out to be fine, which filled me with so much relief my legs actually buckled and I had to sit down or fall down. Then came the guilt, for daring to be relieved that it wasn’t my baby that was in trouble. Some other mother was going to go through the sickness, and the terror that I had been dealing with for the past weeks, but for her it wasn’t going to be a mistake, and it wasn’t going to go away. My daughter is 9, and every day, I thank God that she was born healthy and whole. But I also still feel guilty, and mourn a little, wondering about that other mother, and the baby that wasn’t.

Liza Cruz 11 months ago

Love this. It really hit home. Thank you.

Holly Hagar Noone 11 months ago

Great article. I can be perfectly honest and say I do have feelings when I hear my friends talk about bringing their kids to hockey, gymnastics, baseball, ski club, soccer, etc. and their fabulous time coaching their kids, while I’ve spent years bringing my child to therapy and dragging his siblings along in tow. It’s a different life and I don’t love my child or my life any less. In fact I love all my children with every ounce of my being. We have all grown into stronger people by traveling the rough road. We have greater compassion for others and an appreciation for the simple things in life. But yes, in all honesty I will always wonder the cause and will have an eye roll now and then for people who will just never understand the path of a special needs parent and child (and their siblings). I think its important to be honest and gentle with yourself. You’re doing a great job and everything will be ok in its own time.

Tiffany 11 months ago

My parents adopted a non-verbal, severely abused, autistic son when he was 3 years old. There is something to be said for having realistic expectations but don’t ever let “them” define what your chikd is capable of. “They” said my brother would never be potty trained, not be able to feed himself, and on and on. He does all that and much more.

I know you worry about how everything will affect your other children. Take it from a sibling that has lived to tell the tale, I am a better person for it. It wasn’t always easy but I wouldn’t change a thing.

Lindsey Savage 11 months ago

If this article didn’t relate to you…awesome. This article wasn’t for you.

There are, however, a lot of mothers out there who needed to read exactly this. Who needed to know that these frustrations are normal and that they aren’t terrible people for having them.

Some of you need to dislodge your head from your ass and realize that not everything is about you and stop attacking the people it was written for.

Alice Smith 11 months ago

From the get-go, every “Dr” wrote off my daughter…even my OB/GYN diagnosed her as an 8 lb boy 2 weeks before her birth (SHE was a 6 lb GIRL!). She contracted RSV from her brothers at age 2 weeks and was in intensive care for 7 days. She underwent ribovirin treatment that the Doc said had a 50% chance of brain damage. My husband & I opted for the treatment because we would have rather raise a “brain damaged” child than not to have her at all. Our daughter beat the diagnosis and is a healthy, happy 26 yr old with a child of her own. Even though she was chained to an apnea monitor for the first 3 yrs of her life…we wouldn’t give back one second of those hard times so she could have a life. For all the parents out there who struggle with the hard times…enjoy every victory your child makes…it’s important! And there is no such thing as “normal” !! Blessings to you, for they shall come! Oh, and btw…caffeine & alcohol & tobacco has nothing to do with it either,

Sarah Reed 11 months ago

Parent of an Aspie middle schooler here. I choose to see him as a gift, and not as a burden. His unique view of the world is more authentic than the fallacies that we portray in this modern society.

I’ll take him a million times over any ‘normal’ child, and I don’t feel remorse or jealousy or any type of malady at all towards any parent not doing things ‘the right way’.

Peace out. This page isn’t right for me anymore.

Holly Bivins Smith 11 months ago

Define normal. I have kids with special needs and it’s completely normal to me. I don’t think about their differences and no one else should either. Learn to be content and appreciate what you have even when you want to give up. Like I said, I don’t really know what “normal” is, but I love mine just fine.

Traci 11 months ago

Thank you. So honest and really hit to heart of the matter.

Rachel E. K. Mitchell 11 months ago

I understand what she’s saying with this article, but why even mention the caffeine? It’s not dangerous when consumed in moderation. Odd and unnecessary example .

Tracy M. Sarver Wilkins 11 months ago

For the record, I love Scary Mommy. As a few others have posted, I too am tired of everyone thinking its all about them and being so quick to judge. It’s utterly disgusting. ❤ Your blog though!

Alexis Spicer 11 months ago

Worst part about mothers groups/subscribing to mommy blogs: women commenting sensationally on posted articles THEY DIDN’T EVEN READ

Anna Marie Supan 11 months ago

Living hell??? My grandson is a gift, one of God’s children…I am appalled and disgusted by that sentence actually by this entire blog!

Megan 11 months ago

where was this when I was starting out as a special needs mom?! The guilt about everything and worry… You totally nailed it. Hope this helps other parents feel not so alone.

Rachel Pancamo 11 months ago

It is hard but it is rewarding I’ve never considered it hell. I can say waiting for the results of MRi’s, Eeg, sleep studies, genetic testing was hell for me. I think that is just being a parent…..neurotypical or SN.

Mark N Nancy Seib 11 months ago

We all have our opinions i guess but having twins born at 27 weeks due to an abruption and having lost one at birth and being told at 4-5 days that our second suffered an extreme brain hemorrhage and would never be normal was a relief! Watching five doctors walking in thinking your baby was dying was too much. Guess what no ones perfect but thats my child. Im blessed by God that hes alive. Yea u know 3 months of nicu. Still going to specialists at 14 months old. He came home on feeding tubes, o2, heart monitors etc. i felt blessed for just the fact hes with us. I as a parent feel hate no matter what when i see children being abused,mistreated and parents drinking alcohol,smoking etc. (btw i would never consider caffeine careless geez) thats what i would consider being a good parent. Not pointing fingers just because your childs special needs. I am grateful for everyday im given with my child, yea life can be frustrating and you may ask yourself why your child but at least your child is there to hug and hold. Be grateful for what your given and not ungrateful for what you dont have.

Jessica LeighAnn Burks 11 months ago

I am the mother of 3 and 2 of my kids are not exactly considered special needs both have Dyslexia one has Dyslexia coupled with ADHD. These 2 kids are precious. My 3rd child is “normal” (as much as I hate that word). I have never, even on my worst days, been jealous or judgmental of any other mother. I don’t care if her kids are better behaved than mine. My kids are mine and I am proud of all of them.

Haley MacDonald 11 months ago

I’m sorry but I can’t compare my special needs twins born at thirty weeks to the death of our daughter who was born sleeping full Term. I’m not lying when I say it doesn’t upset me, I’m grateful for single moment.

Courtney Anne 11 months ago

And I agree…it’s a gift not a living hell..some disabilities do not have a known cause. Ridiculous article, ridiculous blog. Out!

Annmarie Best 11 months ago

If your judging people your the moron. People will interpretate this how they see fit. If you dont like this then move right along. I think a better choice of words would of been more appropriate then judging most mums out there. Most of us feel like we are not doing a good enough job and do not need to be critized more. Thankyou

Rachel Pancamo 11 months ago

My daughter has been in therapy since she was 9 months old. I loved seeing my friends but hated seeing them at the same time. It’s so hard to watch everyone else’s perfect kids do everything your child should be doing. To all of you newly inducted special needs mom’s you are not alone! You will feel like you are every damn day but you arent. Most days you won’t even want to get out of bed and face the day worrying what will happen next. What if that new test is worse than the last? What if I can’t make ends meet with all of this therapy? You will want to lock you and your child in the house every day and not face the evil world…please DONT! Not for your child and especially not for you. Find support groups in your area. Go to Facebook page shut up about your perfect kid. Buy their e-book. There are so many amazing books and resources and these support groups will be your life support. All of these marvelous parents listening and giving advice on whatever they can. I can’t tell you that it helps the loneliness go away but you will know with every fiber of your being you aren’t alone In this journey. Everyone helps in whatever way they can. I see you SN mom’s and you will get through it. every single milestone met (even the ones not counted as milestones) will be so amazingly wonderful. Every time someone tells you “God wouldn’t have given you this baby if you couldn’t handle it” or “Special children are only given to special parents” just invision punching them in the throat while smiling and shaking your head. Make a jar, put a dollar in every time. Mama and baby you deserve the vacation time you will earn for all the times you didn’t actually punch them in the face. If by chance you do, YOU ARE MY HERO!!!!

Kimberly-Lance Jones 11 months ago

Very good and on point. Haters: guess what? No one is perfect! We parents of special needs kids blame ourselves daily! We wonder what we did to cause their disability! Guess what? Honesty is refreshing! No one is perfect. Everyone has dark thoughts, and if you pick caffeine out of this article it means you are stupid and self absorbed! You probably have guilt from drinking all the caffeine you did while pregnant! Get over your overly latted selves!

Sarah Winship 11 months ago

I know several mothers of children with special needs, never once have I ever heard them utter the words “resent normal” or reference their lives or the life of their beautiful child as “living hell” this article sounds like it was written in a dramatic play for “likes & shares” but was borne from ignorance. If you are speaking from experience of raising a child with special needs than i apologize but if you live with resentment of those with “more, different, or better” than you — your life will surely be long and lonely.

Courtney Anne 11 months ago

Ugh. Parent of a son with autism, daughter and another son who are what society view as normal ..comments on here sometimes are just harsh. Time to unlike. So many judgmental comments from those who have no idea what parents like myself go through!

Amanda Fiedler Goldsmith 11 months ago

My daughter is special needs. I have four nt children as well. I DO NOT and WILL NEVER consider it living hell. Done with this blog.

Angela Self 11 months ago

I was just at the store today and saw a mother who was having a rough time with her son and she looked like she was on the verge of tears. I am not sure if her son had a disability or not but I just walked over to her, patted her on the back and said “you are doing great. Kids will be kids!” I know I took a chance as most people get so easily offended but this mom looked at me, gave me a hug and burst into tears and said “thank you for not judging me”. We as mothers should empower each other, not rip each other to shreds over differences. I hope I made her day and wish I could do something more…

Kimberly-Lance Jones 11 months ago

If you got caffeine out of this you are a moron!

Brittany Schwartzwald 11 months ago

Beautifully honest. Thank you.

Chrystina Barna 11 months ago

Love this!!!

Heather Schulze Sciacca 11 months ago

*sigh* the comments on most Scary Mommy posts are horrific these days. Makes we want to unlike. So judgmental and mean.

Sasha Goldfarb Rivera 11 months ago

I’m not a parent of a person with special needs. My brother has autism and I watched it eat my family up for years. What the author intends to portray is how fucking agonizing it is to imagine even the smallest decision or detail that could have been done differently in order to avoid the suffering of your child. The overwhelming guilt that follows you and all of the “what ifs” while others are unaware and seemingly ungrateful. We all have pain. And in its depths we feel alone it. She is speaking to that pain so that others may see through it, too.

Krissy Robbins 11 months ago

Great article!

Robin Walker 11 months ago

My husband and I struggled with infertility for a few years and felt the same feeling. I felt like I would have done anything and everything to be in their shoes and how I would have cherished it.

Jen Dixon 11 months ago

This article…fullllll of yes. Thanks for posting

Giselle Castillo Wrobel 11 months ago

The well meaning friends – you love them and know they’re struggling with what to say, but my gosh, if I have to hear them say that my child’s special needs is a gift -aaaarrrgggh! All I can think of saying is, well can I give this gift back?

Becky LeRoy 11 months ago

People. It’s not about the caffeine. It’s the fact that you look at people doing things ‘ you shouldn’t do while pregnant ‘ and judge them. Not purposely. If you aren’t a special needs parent you could never ever understand.

Erin Starowicz Coulter 11 months ago

I have a SN child and I’m pretty sure it’s not from drinking coffee. Nor do I get angry at pregnant women drinking coffee. Alcohol and smoking yeah that is erk-full.

Trish Ehrenfried 11 months ago

After reading this whole article, THATS what you got from it? That’s the best remark you can make? Caffeine?

Wendy Wendel Therasse 11 months ago

Some days do feel like a “living hell”. Trying to get her ready for school only to keep getting attacked and clothing flung off several times before getting her on the bus isn’t “heaven”.

And there’s always those fun moments she acts out at wholly inappropriate times.

Rebecca Owen 11 months ago

I think all of you freaking on the poor choice of words, have totally missed the damn point. I don’t have a special needs child, but I get how someone could resent the parent of a “normal” child. Triggered by pretty much nothing at all, or something huge, like abuse. Stop being so idiotic and put yourself in their shoes. Buncha whiney asses.

Trish 11 months ago

Thank you for putting into words how I feel every day. Thank you for not making me feel guilty about how I truly feel.

Stefanie Briggs Sorrell 11 months ago

Feeling lost with sons recent diagnosis. I’m grateful to find this.

Verena Lang Tetley 11 months ago

This is a great article!

Sara Longstreet 11 months ago

So many narcissists here. B!tches, this isn’t about YOU and you caffeine! Good grief!

Amy Keogel Cornelison 11 months ago

Could have been written by me, or any one of my sisters in this life we didn’t choose, but wouldn’t give up for anything. Beautiful.

Leah-Renee Nettekoven 11 months ago

I’m sorry but drinking caffeine is ungrateful and careless? Mmm ok….

Kristy Fischer 11 months ago

Absolutely loved this!!

Leslie Jarvi 11 months ago

So life with a special needs child is a “living hell”
That’s a person undeserving of parenting any child

Tara Maloney Ham 11 months ago

Thank you for this…. My son is almost 7, he was DX with a more severe autism at 4, but we started therapies at 18 months… This is how you feel…. And it’s true how you change as a parent… Great read!!!

Rachel Binsfeld 11 months ago

Thank you. Word aren’t enough but thank you.

Casie Moore 11 months ago

If you drink a small amount of caffeine it is fine… I have no idea why that is included with smoking. Maybe should have put “alcoholic beverages” instead..

Jamie Nicole 11 months ago

Way to equate child abuse with drinking caffeine while pregnant.

Megan Pickett Cleary 11 months ago

I wouldn’t necessarily call drinking caffeine ungrateful

Kerri Morrison 12 months ago

I’ve walked the walk and can relate with everything said. My child is 21 and still has no diagnosis. He is my heart, I’ve always said it was like a death-For I essentially had to bury everything in my perfect little plan for him… but overtime I began to embrace it – and the challenges that come along with having a severely disabled child. I’m his voice, his caretaker, and he’s my heart. I enjoy him now with every fiber of my being, and most importantly he’s taught me more about love than I ever could have imagined. I do say… one day we will hold hands and run together and talk to each other in a place I call Heaven.

Thank you for such an inspirational read.

Nicole 1 year ago

Never have I read an article that described my feelings so accurately. Thank you for making me feel that I’m not alone in these feelings. That everything doesn’t always have to be “okay”.

Marisa Johnson 1 year ago

This is a wonderful piece, and I hope some parent in the early stages of a diagnosis can find comfort in this. This may sound crazy, but I’m actually thankful I was chosen to be the Mommy of a special need little girl. I know I understand things better then some people. I’m thankful that God gave her to me instead of a parent that doesn’t get it. Yes, it’s hard at times, and incredibly scary to ponder things like her future. I will never give up hope. Special needs children teach you so much about yourself, and make you stronger.

Hennah Joku 1 year ago

You wrote my hearts thoughts. Thank you! xx

Hennah Joku 1 year ago


Sherry Sembera Malone 1 year ago

Thank you for writing and sharing this article. I want to add that what I deal with on an hourly basis sometimes does make me feel like a superwoman…sometimes! ;o Hugs to all of you Moms & Dads that have special babies!

Deborah Wolfe Weidman 1 year ago

Thank you for posting this – spoke to my heart in many ways you cannot imagine.

Meghan Weber 1 year ago

This is so true. It was everything I felt and needed to hear 13 minths ago. Beautifully written.

Amanda Shackelford Elliott 1 year ago

Loved this!

Sarah 1 year ago

I found out my daughters corpus collasum is underdeveloped (in her brain) and white matter is delayed. its not a “big” case of special needs, but she will be a year old on Wednesday and she isn’t sitting up or holding her bottle, and it does get frustrating. we don’t know how this will affect her later on, but we pray we can handle what comes out way. Thank you for this article.

Amanda Friend 1 year ago

Excellent…excellent description…I can’t stop crying..thank you

sheri marshall 1 year ago

as Jane implied I am stunned that a single mom able to get paid $8558 in a few weeks on the computer . check this site oute….. M O N e Y KIN. Com

Hetty 1 year ago

Thank you for the words they are so true. Is het possible to translate these words in dutch so i wil post them on my face book page

Jessy 1 year ago

Thank you for keeping it real. Every word touched my heart as a parent of a three year old w needs.

Diana McMahon Hendricks 1 year ago

Sometimes we just need to vent.

Diana McMahon Hendricks 1 year ago

My special needs child is 31. We were told she would be gone by mid teens but thankfully medicine has changed through the years and she is healthier than ever. I tease her every birthday about being past her expiration date.

Pat Bolsover 1 year ago

well said and worth the read!!

Trianna Landon 1 year ago

This is absolutely perfect.

Eileen Hennessy Leger 1 year ago

This is absolutely true – until your special needs child dies – and then you unwillingly get inducted into a whole different club – and desperately wish with your whole heart you could return to this one.

Merryn Straker 1 year ago

So heartbreakingly true and so accurately expressed

Lachelle Carroll Culbreath 1 year ago

Love this. I’ve lived through these emotions with my kiddo (and just when I think we may be getting closer to “typical

Heather Hinshaw Blews 1 year ago

Beautifully written

Sarah McGhee Heiden 1 year ago

Well said!!

Jen 1 year ago

Yes. Me too. I had to read it twice and the second time just got to me. ❤️

Christine Mosher Sarro 1 year ago

Amazingly stated

Andrea Green Kuieck 1 year ago

This was beautifully written.

Jennifer Winston 1 year ago

What a great article! Pretty much sums it up! Great to see my feelings validated, even the guilty ones..and yes, Alex Luevano, I feel the same way. It sucks to try to help your chd build their self esteem through therapy and things at home, then you send them to school and other kids cut them down. Ugh. But it is still important for them to try and get out there. It is so painful as a parent to see them struggle and cry. Then of course you have the know-it-alls who try to te you what is best for YOUR child (some don’t even have children, let alone a special needs child), saying you need to homeschool him. Believe me, if I thought that was best, I would. But homeschooling, at least for my son, who has difficulties with socialization, due to autism spectrum and other things is going to hinder his social development. Plus he happens to have a WONDERFUL special ed teacher. People just have NO FREAKIN CLUE how hard every day is, even normal activities..and our situatio isn’t even as bad as it could be! There are people much worse off. People just need to be more compassionate and less judgmental!

Rebecca Clark 1 year ago

This is my life as well. Thank you for writing it.

Alex Luevano 1 year ago

I think the day to day struggles are hard, but the hardest part is when my daughter goes to school. I can’t stop others from bullying, I can’t force other kids to like her, or make the teachers do what I do for her. But I know it’s good for her to go out on her own & get life experiences & learn.

Leticia Turney 1 year ago

I really needed to read this today. It summed up the last 4 months of my life perfectly. So thank you, really, thank you.

Ticia 1 year ago

Thank you, just thank you. I can hardly see to type for the tears. You’ve just summed up the last 4 months of my life. I’m glad to know others understand.

Caroline Furman 1 year ago

You are an exceptional person.

Megan O’Brien Dennis 1 year ago

Wow. Powerful and perfect.

Teresa Marie Sousa 1 year ago

Thank you, I really needed this article. I needed to hear that someone understands. Thanks for posting.

Crystal Smith 1 year ago

A very well written article. A couple of things though. It’s not the worst thing isn’t being told your child has special needs. The worst thing is being told when your child is born it might not live 24 hours, then when you are taking them home that your child is at high risk of dying in her sleep before the age of 2, then when they have an asthma attack as a baby being told your child could go at any time. Then at 5 when they have a grand mal seizure being told again your child could die. Another things is, I don’t know about others but there is no time allowed to mourn anything or anyone when you have a special needs child. When you are not busy with them you are busy advocating for their needs and doing your best to be polite and diplomatic the government, the schools, the doctors when you really just want to tell them to F off some days. You are doing your best to instill an “I can do it attitude” and make liers of those doctors that said your child won’t talk, walk, run, dance, do volunteer work or hold a job. My daughter made liers of them on most of these and now is thinking of moving out. Now some freedom for me but at the same time the fear of whether they will treat her right, will they give her the meds she needs on time…

Christina Nicole Mikel 1 year ago

You never know the daily struggles until it happens. I am fearful evey time my blind daughter plays in the grass. She can’t see the thorns she’s about to run into, the branch she’s about to clothesline, the poisonous snake she might step on, etc. I’m sad she will never drive but thankful with the grace of God she’ll live to be that old, some conditions don’t allow that privilege.

Claudia Rice 1 year ago

Thank you…

Desiree Lamoureux 1 year ago

My baby spent the first 7 months of his life in a children’s hospital a 5 hour drive from our home, he is now 17 months and we still live away from home as we wait for him to grow big enough to receive a kidney transplant. He has never been home yet. This blog had me bawling as it took the thoughts right out of my head. Thank you for posting something “the rest of us” can relate to.

Amanda 1 year ago

Holy jesus fuck! Finally an article about special needs that makes me feel like I’m not alone.

This give me hope. Thank you for your honesty.

cali 1 year ago

Thank you so much…..I am a foster mom to a little one with special needs that we didn’t know about until just the last few weeks ago and it’s tearing me up inside because we can’t really tell anyone anything because her case is confidential but our lives have become ruled by appointments and specialists not to mention case workers and therapists. … and people see her and say she’s so cute and sweet and they can’t understand why my eyes are puffy and bloodshot and I look perpetually exhausted and hardly smile anymore.
So good to know I’m not alone in grieving and that it WILL settle down…. eventually :-)

Sally 1 year ago

Thank you. Thank you for making me feel human.
It really is so so hard.

Qiana Didricksen 1 year ago

Thank you for this.

Nicole Scheneman 1 year ago

MUCH needed this morning, Thank you a million times ♥

Terry Simms Cotes 1 year ago


Kristine Stangle Olivarez 1 year ago

This piece is awesome!! This too is the life I lead! All parts have been and are still felt!

Jay Tsar 1 year ago

Thank you for this post. I can totally relate. I’m still struggling to not worry about what other parents say and how they compare my kid to theirs.

Christine Miner Blake 1 year ago

Spot on.

Brooke Lloyd 1 year ago

What a beautiful, perfect piece of writing, truly. Thank you so much for sharing.

Karen 1 year ago

I am the mother of a child with Down syndrome. When I was still pregnant, I was attending church where there was a family who had a 20 year old son with Down syndrome. I went to church one Sunday after receiving our diagnosis, and she came up to me all excited and said “I hear you’re having a baby with Down syndrome, congratulations!”… I was SO NOT THERE YET! She was excited for me, but I was still grieving.
Fast forward about 12 years. I am at church, in another state, and a mom just had a baby that, surprise, had Down syndrome. I told her that story above. She says “My husband needs to hear this. Please, tell my husband it’s okay to NOT BE THERE YET!” So I talked with both of them about how I really felt at the time and how it got better over time. It’s a hard and different journey, but their milestones mean Oh, So Much More!

Stacie 1 year ago

Beautiful and oh so insightful!

Wendy Resnick Lansing 1 year ago

Good read….good info

Deanna Michelle Brock 1 year ago

Bethany Kindel…. I’m with you. I’ve been on board of this boat for 9 years now. I sure could have benefited from this one as I laid in a hospital bed. Crying. Scared of what the future held. Trisomy 9 isn’t so scary 9 years in. But I still remember that scared, sad and very blessed mama I was 9 years ago!

Loved this!

Blayne Brocker 1 year ago

I’m a stay at home dad with 6 kids 12yrs to 2 yrs. 3 have special needs. Your post is my life. I have felt every emotion you spoke of. Even though I look like I have my shit together there are days I feel completely broken. I sincerely appreciate you posting this and your honesty. The best thing to say to someone dealing with this is just “your doing a great job” and smile. It’s what keeps me going!

Deidra M Haider 1 year ago

All I tell people when they say it will be different or it will be harder is every child is different “typical” or not! They will give you trouble no matter what! But it is something a lot of people never know what to say to, I accepted that very early, he is now 3 months old and I have a sad thought from time to time, but I love him and know he will be an amazing part of my life!

Jessica Long Darnutzer 1 year ago

This is a lovely piece, one of the best I’ve read on this site.

Cheryl Louis 1 year ago

Perfectly written. Thank you.

Kim 1 year ago


HeatherandMatt Hayes 1 year ago

Absolutely beautiful and perfect.

Melissa Stiles 1 year ago

This is so true. I have an 8 year old thag was born at 24 weeks and has mild cerebral palsy. Oh, did I mention I was told I couldn’t have children? She was a blessing before she was even born, then came all the difficulties once she was here. I felt guilt for feeling these same things. I also felt all alone since my then husband has to work to support the family. We instantly became a one income family with a stack of medical bills. I thank god for her everyday! I also believe she’s actually teaching me a few lessons along the way. Great article. I hope every special needs parent can read this!

Alex 1 year ago

Beautifully written, you have seen right in to me, thank you

Meghan McIntosh 1 year ago

It’s been years, but I remember….
For me it was relief. Someone ‘official’ confirmed my suspicions that something wasn’t quite right with my son. Now he is diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome, ADHD, OCD, conduct disorder, executive function disorder, and Aspergers.

Shana Filkins 1 year ago

♡ this

Bethany Kindel 1 year ago

Awesome! I am not so new (my special little is almost 16!) but it is a great reminder that although I am well adjusted to her it doesn’t mean everyone is and we can all support those newly inducted. <3 (PS I would have loved to have read this 16 years ago :) it is great!

Nardia Smith 1 year ago

Melanie this is a lovely one for our client newsletter. Even though our clients are older – the parent will still relate

sj 1 year ago

This brought tears to my eyes. I’m not a mom of special needs rather I lost my baby to an unknown condition that could have been dealt with if found. but reading about the hatred I feel for parents abusing their unborn babies and children who are here whilst i suffer on without the little girl we so desperately wanted hit me hard right in the gut. I’ve been known to look at moms with visibly disabled children and wish to god it was mine. What I’d give to have her here with me rather than gone. Appreciate you’re differently abled child/ren – they are here and can feel your love.

Kelly Naumann 1 year ago

I loved how honest this was…and hopeful. :)

Peggy Edge 1 year ago

This made me tear up & not much does. Because this hit every mark right on the head.

Josie 1 year ago

Thank you.


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