Eight years have passed since I began parenting this child, with no official guide. Aaron has continued to thrive; surpassing expected developmental tasks at every stage. He plays baseball and basketball, gets good grades, and enjoys a great group of friends. Natalie has made amazing strides too, and is a loving, engaging, spitfire of a child. But, Natalie has ADHD with a handful of comorbid conditions. I research and network daily, in hopes of finding any useful parenting guidance at all, much less a comprehensive, reliable, accurate parenting guide.
Your personal story is likely quite different from mine. But, if, like me, you are parenting a child with special needs, then, at some point, your child also strayed significantly from typical developmental, behavioral, or academic norms. So you know how it feels to go without a guide, into uncharted parenting territory. Frightening, anxiety provoking. Desperate. Exhausting. Confusing.
What if I were to tell you that there’s a woman you can turn to, who will share her personal story of parenting a child with special needs, and that her story will predict and explain the many feelings, stages, and experiences that you will likely go through in your special needs parenting journey, from the time your child is an infant through early adulthood? This woman, Eve, isn’t real—she’s an archetype; a construct–all the more “real” for having grown from the truths-in-common of 35 such parents who contributed their stories to the upcoming book Easy to Love but Hard to Raise. (http://www.drtpress.com/ & http://www.easytolovebut.com/) How might you feel to “meet” this woman; Eve? Relieved. Reassured. Empowered. Less isolated and alone.
In the next post in the ongoing series, it will be my pleasure to introduce Eve. To be continued…
(This post first appeared on Spruce Kids.)