Post in Portuguese (Brazil), Spanish

 


Mulher-pensativaIf your child has special needs, you have already probably left a medical appointment feeling dizzy and heartbroken. Not because you were not feeling well. But because you wanted your kid to be perfectly fine –and he/she is not.

Knowing that your baby has some kind of special condition (and especially WHAT kind of limitation) is a painful privilege. It allows you to search for adequate specialists and provide the right medicines. But it can also be quite worrisome.

After all, you wonder whether your cute little baby will ever develop the normal abilities any child does. You wonder whether teachers at school will have an attentive eye to his/her special needs. You worry whether classmates will ever be that understanding as well. In other words, you fear.

You love your baby so strongly that you wish he/she did not have to go through this. Deep inside you wish your child were 100% prepared to face the world, as if anyone had ever reached that utopian percentage or as if it were a guarantee of happiness and success in life. You and I know it isn’t.

While our kids may need treatments and medicines, we moms need some good doses of hope and optimism. So here goes a list of 8 reasons to be positive as you raise a special child. 

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  1. Your kid is alive. This may sound obvious, but it is not. Life is something we should not take for granted. As a mother of a baby that almost died at birth, I can tell you: truly celebrate the fact that your child is alive!
  2. Your baby has some significant victories in his/her “portfolio”. If being alive already calls for a celebration, remembering his/her past victories, such as a successful surgery, for example, will certainly help you keep optimistic.
  3. There is some good news on your child’s medical report, right? Try to focus on the positive aspects of his/her global development, such as his/her abilities, even the most basic ones. Nothing should be taken for granted. Play this “1 X 2 game” my sister taught me as a child: whenever you get apprehensive about ONE limitation, celebrate TWO skills.
  4. Surprises happen every day, even in medicine. When duly stimulated, a child has an enormous capacity to recover better than we might expect, thanks to neuronal plasticity. This is one more reason to remain hopeful.
  5. You are a good mom. You are doing your best. If you are reading this post up to this point, I can tell that. You have searched for good doctors, treatments, medicines. A child notices this and even unconsciously will work hard on his/her part of the battle.
  6. Accept that not all things are in your control. Do your utmost about those you can work on (such as treatments) and try to relax about those you cannot. After all, this is life, not a theater plot.
  7. There are inspiring stories around you. I am sure there are successful people whose personal stories resonate with you and your child. For me, learning from them is inspiring and refreshing. Some experiences are so much harder than mine that I feel embarrassed just by thinking of complaining about whatever it is!
  8. Last, but not least, there is love. Love heals. Your love for your baby is undoubtedly the most important medicine he/she needs. All other treatments, regardless of their advanced technology, would have limited effect if your child were not raised with love and care. Keeping this is mind will help you feel proud of yourself as a mom.

 

I hope these thoughts work fine for you —and for me. Let me know if they help you somehow and…if you can add more ideas to this list, please do so!!!