SALT LAKE CITY — People keep asking me versions of this question: "How can I help my neighbor who has a child with special needs?"
They ask me this because I have a couple of boys on the autism spectrum. I suspect they ask because they know my life is kind of a hot mess.
It's a lovely question, because it shows that people are aware of those around them facing challenges raising children with special needs. To those who have asked, I say thank you! You rock, people. In my experience, there are a few welcome gestures that come from understanding what life with special needs children is all about.
Parents of special needs children are universally tired.
Some, like my friends April and Katie, are frequently up at night with a child having seizures. One of my sons is a strange sleeper, waking and wandering the house in the wee hours. All of us find ourselves staying up too late to accomplish the myriad tasks that we can't do when our kids are awake.
Special needs parenting is tiring. It just is. The cumulative effect of handling medications, difficult behaviors and esoteric routines for years and years without respite can turn us into zombies.
Read more at http://www.ksl.com/?nid=1009&sid=29013117#wJq6RuvT4mO9eZhP.99
Rebecca is an independent publisher working to help siblings of children with emotional challenges.