Parenting a Special Needs Child 

Parenting decisions 

As a young girl, I always wanted a child. To be a mom was my greatest dream. I started young, and looking back I would have made better decisions. I would have had my life together before bearing children because I was just a child myself. However, when it happened I had my first parenting decision to make; one that could be easy for some, but for me, not so much. I considered adoption for my child, but could I really live with myself knowing I carried this child in me for 9 months and then just give him away? My decision finally came when I met my husband. He was the only one at the time that showed me what true love meant. It didn’t matter that the baby wasn’t his. If I chose to keep the baby, he would love and treat him as his own. Very rare to find a 19-year-old boy who would be willing to take on such a responsibility. So with that, I made my decision. My life wasn’t over, it was just a new chapter in it. Every parent, whether just beginning or years after, face some hard, unsettling decisions to make, and some are just as easy as eating cake. 

He was born deaf 

After my son was born, he failed his hearing test and several tests after that for almost 2 years until we found a doctor willing to look deeper into his situation. The doctor told us that he was deaf in both ears because the Cochlea nerve was not completely formed/connected. We as a family had to decide what we were going to do. Were we going to give him the surgery to make him hear, or were we just going to learn sign language and go about our lives as normal? Another big parenting decision. But why did we only have to pick one way or the other? So we agreed, we would do both the sign language and the surgery. 

Support of family and friends 

I was blessed with a strong and supportive family and friends. My grandparents, my husband, and my community special needs services helped my son to learn sign language so that he at least had some kind of communication with others. The special needs services were kind of like the Christian special needs summer camp, without being a camp. Then by his 3rd birthday, he had his new “ears” to hear and to learn how to talk. The road was long and hard. There were times when I felt like there was no light at the end of the tunnel. However, between good doctors, family, and friends, there was light. Most days I was so overwhelmed that my grandpa or my husband or my sisters would take my son for a night and just let me sleep or go out shopping to get my “me time” in. That’s a big deal. No one ever thinks so when they are not the ones stressed out, but I’ll tell you what, they mean the world to that parent and that child. 

Outside of the house support and ideas 

When dealing with the challenges that life throws at you, sometimes you need more outer support. There are tons of support groups of every kind you can think of nowadays. Just like our kid’s mom is there to help parents with different activities to do with kids, or how to do your self-remedies. Then there’s my personal favorite, Cochlear Americas that hold more than just information on my son’s implant devices. They have a support group of parents that can go to their site and talk about different challenges they are having or have had and give advice on how they got through it. They also hold support group events once a year just to meet families all over the world that are just like us. 

As a parent, there is never a dull moment. It is a very hectic, time-consuming, and scary thing anyone can go through. However, even when you feel all alone, in decisions or trials of any kind, you are not alone. There are many people who have gone through what you are going through. You just may not have found them yet.


Thank you to our guest author B. Wilcox.

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