All kids have special needs.

All kids have special needs. ~SimpleHomeschool.net
Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and writer at Steady Mom

Over a decade ago, I had the extraordinary honor of working with special needs children in both schools and homes. I mainly helped them and their families in whatever way I could, and did my best to shower a little extra love their way. I worked with some children who were severely disabled, a child with cerebral palsy, a child with ADHD, and children with autism.

I both loved and feared this work. Loved it–because I felt like I was making a difference in the lives of these families and learning so much at the same time.

Feared it–because in the back of my mind I wondered if maybe God was preparing me for something. Like one day he was going to “make” me have a child with special needs of my own.

Warped, I know.

It turns out He didn’t make me, instead He made me want a child with special needs. Want to adopt one, to be exact. My husband and I, with some fear, but a bit of faith too, chose it–and the child God brought in His wisdom is our daughter Trishna.

My girl, soon after coming home at the age of four. Isn’t she gorgeous? Photo by pennybird

Trishna is creative, talented with words, and loves books and writing. (Just. like. me! Isn’t God amazing?!)

She is also visually impaired and developmentally delayed by the fact that she spent the first four years of her life in an orphanage in India.

The experience of adopting an older child with special needs has enlarged my world and expanded my borders. It has also, at times, brought me crippled to the floor with grief, overwhelm, and heartbreak.

And so I completely understand why a fellow homeschooling mama with multiple special needs children recently sent me a message, giving me a peek into the window of her discouragement. Adding home education on top of an already full plate has piled more responsibility on her sweet and fragile shoulders, and the weight seems too much to bear.

Here are a few points that have lightened my load and helped me maintain perspective while homeschooling (& parenting) a child with special needs:

1. All kids have special needs.

I agree with author Kim John Payne of Simplicity Parenting, who writes that “all kids are quirky.” So true!

One of my children may have an official diagnosis, but I also have a child who tends to be shy, and another who loves (sometimes too much) to be in charge. Viewed a certain way, these are also special needs–qualities, be they strengths or weaknesses, unique to each individual.

2. There is no such thing as a perfect child (or adult).

We cannot accomplish, nor should we try, to raise kids without issues. Issues, and the overcoming of them, is one of life’s greatest and most important exercises. This goes for our kids who are typically developing or differently-abled.

Some of our children may have to work hard to control their temper or learn to make friends. Some may use all their inner reserves in the effort to walk, feed, or dress themselves. Either way, a celebration is in order when our children emerge as victors over life’s challenges.

3. It does not rest on my shoulders to “fix” my child or fulfill all her needs.

I can’t go back and undo my daughter’s four years in an institution. I can’t compensate for what she lacked when I wasn’t there–or its effect on our present-day lives.

But often I wish I could alter what is and make up for what was.

Inevitably, when I mentally or emotionally try to shoulder this responsibility, I feel burdened and overwhelmed. I get this sense most when I use my faith in reverse and worry about the future for Trishna or any of my children.

Fear and worry don’t help me or anyone I love.

4. What’s best for our child will also be best for our family.

Divorce rates for couples with special needs children are high.

Of course we will and should sacrifice to meet our kids’ needs. But in the midst of juggling therapies, surgeries, other children, and a marriage, we must remember that what is best for our child should also work for our families.

What is my responsibility, then? What should I do for my special needs child(ren)?

  • love and nurture–without expectation, but just because it’s the right thing to do
  • open the door to the world for her (This is where home education plays such a vital part!)
  • trust God with all of my kids and their futures
  • pray when I notice a need, expecting God to guide and give inspiration
  • respond when He does–whether that means therapy, surgery–or stopping therapy or canceling a surgery (timing matters!)
  • believe that there is a plan, and that it is a good one

I have plenty of “special needs” of my own: I don’t like big crowds, I get overwhelmed easily, I hate talking on the phone, and so much more. Yet amazingly God uses me–in my family and in this world. I know that He has a calling for my babes too, no matter what their needs or uniquenesses.

And so I start again each day, whether golden moments of encouragement dawn or the dreariness of the discouraging slaps me in the face. Through my many inadequacies, I can say this without reservation:

I’m showing up. Holding out all my brokenness, my neediness, my multitude of imperfections to my children–who are holding out theirs to me.

All of us thriving in our own ways and time. All of us with purpose and mission.

All of us with special needs.

If you have a child with special needs, I’d love to hear about what you’ve found helpful in your journey of homeschooling and family life.

Originally published on November 19, 2012.

About Jamie Martin

Jamie is a mama to three cute kids born on three different continents. She serves as editor of Simple Homeschool, and blogs about mindful parenting at Steady Mom. Jamie is also the author of two books: Steady Days and Mindset for Moms.

Comments

  1. Divorce rates are 80++% for special needs families?! I had no idea.

    And that picture of you holding the camera is fabulous :)
    Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy’s latest post: Introducing Paper Gains: A Guide to Gifting Children Great Books from Modern Mrs Darcy

  2. Katie Miller says:

    beautiful and encouraging…

  3. Yes, she IS gorgeous.

    My son was born at 25 weeks almost 8 years ago. My original desire to homeschool came from realizing that there was no way he could endure 5 days/week kindergarten. He still napped almost daily and did not have the endurance for full time kindergarten. And now, 3 years later I’m so grateful we’re homeschooling him and his sister.
    Being born so early, his left and right brain hemispheres haven’t made all the connections necessary for mastery of reading. It will come in its own time, but at home we get to play games and take it slow and gentle. At school he’d be put in remedial reading groups which I fear would affect his self esteem an push him when he isn’t quite ready.
    Rachel @ 6512 and growing’s latest post: DIY Kitchen: pumpkin muffins

  4. Denise says:

    Jamie! I’ve read some of your articles before and always end up feeling like you and I are twins that must have been separated at birth! I also homeschool three adopted children with special needs….I also hate talking on the phone! What is up with that?!? All my friends know that to call me is useless because I won’t answer! But thank you for this reminder today that ‘all kids have special needs’…..On my knees every morning asking God to show me how to love them like he loves them, cuz, honestly, I don’t really know how.

  5. Love you, sweet Mama!
    Caroline Starr Rose’s latest post: New Mexico – Arizona Book Awards

  6. Marith says:

    Good morning, Jamie.
    My sweet, beautiful daughter was recently diagnosed with autism and, while I’m currently battling through a crushing bout of sadness and lethargy, the one (only, really) thing I’ve found helpful is just hanging on to God. I get through each day by turning to God, again and again, for everything we need and thanking him for all the wonderful gifts he’s blessed us with (which are truly considerable, even though many of our dreams are crumbling).
    God may not give me answers I want, but I’m trusting that he’s giving me the answers I need. He may not give me all the strength and energy I think I should have, but he’s giving me enough to keep plugging along with my husband and our incredible kidlette, loving and learning together. And when my darling one goes off into her own, little world and I can’t reach her, I find comfort in the knowledge that God can. He is there with her and she is not alone.

  7. sandy says:

    Thank you, Jamie. My youngest of five also has special needs, having suffered global brain damage after a cardio-pulmonary arrest as an infant. I have learned so many lessons from this little girl. She has taught the six of us so many beautiful, sometimes hard, lessons. One of those, which you so beautifully illustrate, is that ALL of our children have special needs. It is inherent in our “fearfully and wonderfully made” status. Here’s to all of our miracles!

  8. Colleen says:

    Thank you for this post. I needed it this morning.

  9. Hank says:

    Jamie,

    Would you please provide a source for your comment about divorce rates? I have heard this many times and have looked for research to support these statements. I have seen just the oposite in practice with the families that include a child with special needs that my wife and I have come in contact with over the years.

    Hank (Dad to Caden who has 22q11.2/DiGeorge Syndrome)

  10. Anne says:

    Beautifully written! Thank you!

  11. deb says:

    Thank you for sharing your parenting journey. I have 3 kids adopted from China, who I homeschool ( well, the eldest is now in grade 11 at high school and doing very well ; that is to say she holds her own pretty well in the face of the constant barrage of pressures to not be herself ). I understand something of what you may face with your beautiful daughter Trishna, as my youngest daughter was adopted when she was 2 years of age and we have been working at increasing her sense of attachment to us. Not sure if you have read the work of Bruce Perry.
    Thank you . I love your reflections.

    Deb

  12. se7en says:

    All kids have special needs indeed… and your shining love for yours is just beautiful!!!
    se7en’s latest post: Saturday Spot: Se7en + 1 Visit the Awesome Gold Restaurant Again…

  13. This is such a beautiful post. I don’t have any “diagnosed” special needs children, but part of that is maybe just because I haven’t pursued a diagnosis. But my kids have each had their own “special needs.” One suffers from perfectionism, one has a bad case of wanting to be famous without working for it, one still battles shyness, and one had to figure out how to break a 9 year finger-sucking habit, cope with a strange speech pattern, and struggles to read and spell at the same level as his peers. Some days I forget that these are not MY struggles … I’ve got my own. Time to look in the mirror and remind myself “I am not God.” I’ll just be the mama and love them like crazy, and offer a helping hand in overcoming whatever they can. A++ on a beautiful post!

  14. Sharon says:

    So beautifully written. Adopting older kiddos has been for me, one of the things that has brought me to my knees the most and I am so, so thankful the blessing of being their mom, but also how much they have taught me. (oh, selfish me.)
    Sharon’s latest post: Mercies along the way… {entry no. 6}

  15. Katie says:

    Thank you for this, Jamie. Don’t know if you know that Luisa was a “special needs” adoption – we knew about major developmental delays due to prematurity and institutionalization, but this summer she actually got a CP diagnosis, too – albeit quite mild – but we weren’t exactly expecting that. We are learning that it’s a beautiful thing to raise a child with special needs, even as it is so very challenging.

    • Katie says:

      And yes, fully agree about ALL kids having special needs! My bio daughter is “normal” but is super sensitive and I think probably has some sensory issues with noise and crowds… Thankful she is in a tiny kindergarten class (8 kids) that practices Charlotte Mason habits – it is exactly what she needs right now!

    • I didn’t know that about Luisa, Katie. I’ve loved seeing your photos on FB–she is such a doll!

      xo
      Jamie ~ Simple Homeschool’s latest post: All kids have special needs.

  16. Jeni says:

    Beautifully written!! My husband and I have adopted 3 children from foster care and this spoke (loudly) to my heart. In our area it seems as though no one understands our family and we always thought we were alone. It is so great to see so many people relating to this. Thank you so much for the encouragement. It was much needed!

  17. Arlene says:

    As usual, Jamie, your posts are incredibly thought-provoking and comforting to me. I agree wholeheartedly that every child is special needs and I just love you for recognizing that and pointing it out. Every human is a unique, idiosyncratic individual with different strengths, weaknesses, abilities and sensitivities, interests. No two kids/people can be approached and nurtured in the same way, imho. Each child is an ever-evolving mystery for loving mamas and papas to figure out, aren’t they? :)

    I appreciate your mention of your own aversion to phones. We all have our “thing” like that.

    PS… I am sitting here at the Library with Steady Days sitting in my bag. xoxo

  18. Jess says:

    I am sitting here typing with my 14 month old daughter on my lap and a 60 ml syringe between my teeth. This is not uncommon because this is how I feed her every day, through a special button in her tummy. She is our sixth child and it has been a wild ride these last 14 months. Two open heart surgeries, a major stomach surgery, LOTS of hospital time, therapy, doctor’s visits etc. Our home school has morphed into something very different to what it was! But I am so glad we homeschool. It meant that when Kaylee was in hospital interstate, we could take everyone with us. When my oldest son was so stressed about his sister he had heart burn, he could just take it easy for the day. My braniac daughter was able to learn about hearts and all the “medical stuff” without falling “behind” on what the other kids in her class were doing. It has given me the flexibility to help each child work through the trauma of Kaylee’s medical crisis in their own ways. And I am truly thankful!

  19. Megan says:

    Reading this almost brought tears to my eyes. I have three children. My middle children has severe classic autism, global developmental delay and chromosomal duplication that affects him physically. While he has many struggles, my other two children have struggles as well that are just as important. His little sister is stubborn and very assertive, while my oldest is shy and struggles with reading. It can be very easy to focus on the child with the official medical issues, but my other two children need me just as much. Homeschooling has given me the freedom to help my oldest learn without stress and we’ve found a wonderful Covering group that has helped with the shyness. We have been able to work social and moral lessons that my youngest needs to work on in her everyday learning. They also get their much needed mommy and daddy time. We have found that when everyone gets their special time and special needs met, we are all much more supportive of each other.

  20. Megan says:

    I forgot to add I also have a visual disability, which has left me basically blind in one (multiple retinal detachments). Hence my many typos lol

  21. Elizabeth Kane says:

    Love this quote, Jamie: “And so I start again each day, whether golden moments of encouragement dawn or the dreariness of the discouraging slaps me in the face.” I think that’s where the gold lies. In that dusting off and getting up again to love each other as we are, and as who we want to become, in all of our unique ways that make us human.

  22. Julia says:

    Beautiful post, brilliant title. We just had lunch on Sunday with a family who has a child with autism. It wasn’t easy to converse at times, but it was so worthwhile to persevere and begin a new family friendship.
    Julia’s latest post: Thanksgiving Without the Turkey

  23. Fran says:

    “I’m showing up. Holding out all my brokenness, my neediness, my multitude of imperfections to my children–who are holding out theirs to me.”

    I cried when I read this. Beautifully said. It is so easy to get lost in stress and worry, but not today. I’m showing up too, Jamie.

    Thank you!
    Fran’s latest post: Growing Old Together

  24. jason elsworth says:

    Divorce rates for couples with special needs children reach a staggering 80-90 percent.

    5 minutes on Google will show this to be a very dubious figure indeed , which has been pretty much debunked. You really need to do some fact checking. For many this would be very dispiriting to read, especially for those who have received a recent diagnoses.

    Jason (Dad to Harry, age 13, whose body has Down Syndrome and is currently home schooled every afternoon by me).

    • Jamie says:

      Hi Jason. I think statistics of every sort can either be proven or debunked depending on what and where you look (the recent election comes to mind in this regard!). My point in mentioning this was certainly not to discourage anyone, but to make it a point that those with special needs children should keep in mind the extra stress it may place on our marriages.

      Thank you for your comment!

  25. Bobbiann says:

    I loved this post, Jamie!
    Bobbiann’s latest post: The Treasure Seekers

  26. Christie Preisler says:

    Thank you for sharing your stories. I feel like I have crested the hill. I have 6 children. Two I gave birth to, four adopted, and five with special needs and one who has needs and is special. So many times I thought my mistakes would forever scar my children’s already fragile lives. My oldest is in her second year of a very successful college program and awaiting her call to serve a mission for our church. My next four are all teenagers and although they act like teens, they are making great choices, loving others, and find happiness on occasion. My youngest just turned eight. Instead of feeling the dread that I have felt so many times that my children will forever feel lonely and frustrated, he is learning to love the piano and has a multitude of friends. God is truly good! There is hope! Never give up!

  27. Glenda Wallace says:

    just found your blog, love the title “all kids have special needs” this is a statement I make quite often. I have been a birth mom of 3, now grown w//4 brands also a Foster/adoptive mom for 12 years. each child has had some special need from the very severe mental, emotional, or developmental need to just needing a hug, guidance, or a good meal with a loving family. your blog says it all, helps to hear the same from another walking in your shoes. my 2 adopted girls (siblings) have very different needs my oldest suffered physical and emotional abuse and is diagnosed reactive attachment disorder along with many other labels. my youngest suffered physical abuse in utero and has seizures that cause her to lose her short term memory every time she has one, lots of relearning so we chose to homeschool her. I find it quite difficult at the age of 62 but my birth daughter helps me out and Hay is making huge strides and learning how to cope with her memory loss. thank you for your words and look forward to reading your blog. Ma G

  28. Gamoon Lau says:

    First time commenter long time reader coming out of the woodwork means you wrote a powerful piece touching my core! Thank you for sharing so eloquently and personalyly to remind me of why I do what I do.

  29. Shelly says:

    I homeschool 7 of my kids. My 13 year old son has adhd.. Homeschooling him is such a blessing; he used to be in public school. Working one on one with him is great because I can keep him at an age-appropriate level, and he can succeed. At school they just sent him home with work two grade levels behind, and he felt belittled and bored because he was capable of so much more. The one piece of advice I would give someone else who has a child with adhd is this: Never use (or let your child use) adhd as an excuse! I have come across so many parents who use adhd as a free pass for bad behavior and, more importantly, for academic pursuits. Having adhd does mean that your child will need some accommodations, but it does NOT mean that your child is not intelligent or capable of achieving great things. Experiment a little! I’ve tried many things in our homeschool with my son. Workbooks were not a good fit for language arts, so we’ve been lapbooking instead, which can cover lots of writing, spelling, and grammar. An added bonus we discovered is that lapbooking is a great way for him to learn history and science, too. He recently researched Abraham Lincoln and created a lapbook. If he would have read about him in a textbook or if I would have read to him, it would’ve gone in and come right back out. The many different activities in lapbooking have engaged him so much that he’s been casually mentioning in everyday conversations facts about Abraham Lincoln that I never even knew!
    On a side note, I was born with 3 out of the 4 stages of club foot in both feet. The doctor told my mom I probably wouldn’t walk, and if I did, it would be with crutches. My mother did everything she could to help me. She did therapy with me herself and put me in skating and dance lessons. I went on to dance for over 20 years, I became a certified dance teacher, danced all over with a dance company, performed at children’s parties and on telethons, placed in several competitions, and eventually choreographed a musical at college in my freshman year. This is not to boast but is an encouragement to mothers to never give up hope because children are amazing!

  30. Alyssa says:

    Thanks for these thoughts:
    “Worry is faith in reverse”
    The idea of separating my issues from theirs.
    I have a 9 year old son adopted form foster care and am so thankful to be able to home school him, with his attachment being a higher priority than reading for example. What an amazing journey it has been in both his growth and ours.

    This spoke to me though about letting go of my strong feelings of wanting to make everything easy for my older bio kids (age 21, 18 and 16) Recognizing that they will struggle, but it will be for good is very freeing. I can only prepare them for so much and I need to have faith in them and in God.

  31. Faigie says:

    I have a friend who took in a child with CP at age 5 after being in a home for disabled children when his parents gave him up after birth being unable to handle him. My friend had 2 children from a previous marriage plus 5 with her husband and she took in this child. True she wasn’t homeschooling but, it was 15 years ago and her life has never been the same. Enriched yet, not easy

  32. tracy c says:

    I love your article. You are correct, all children have special needs. We love them for who they are. As I tell my children, if we were all the same it would be a boring world:)
    I homeschool all four of my children, ages 6 to 13. All of them have “special needs.” My oldest is three to five years ahead of his peers. My ten year old has expressive/receptive language disorder, undiagnosed learning disability/dyslexia, ADHD, fine motor skill problems, and anxiety at times. My eight year old has expressive language disorder, speech disorder, sensory processing disorder, etc. My six year old has expressive language disorder, articulation disorder, and starting to show signs of ADHD and dyslexia. These are all labels and give me a starting point, but I look at all of my children’s strengths and build on to those. We tried public school for all of them, and none of them were getting what they needed….I love homeschooling because it gives me the opportunity to try new things, be more flexible, and develop an individualized instruction to meet each of their needs. For a mother of four that wasn’t suppose to be able to have children, I am very blessed to have all four them…special needs and all:)

  33. Sue says:

    Thank you, Jamie, for a thoughtful post. I homeschool 2 of my 3 children and the middle one has autism. Right now I am in a very discouraged state, questioning everything we’re doing. Identifiying with your words “crippled with grief, overwhelm, and heartbreak”. BUT the 2 lessons I have learnt are NOT to make long term decisions (like ditching homeschooling and looking for the nearest school!) at the end of a school year (Southern Hemisphere) when I am tired and my reserves are low. And second, not to expect God to reveal His provisions for more than one year (or day?) at a time. Regularly I look at the year ahead and say “OK, this year seems to be working out and I can see our way clear…but NEXT year seems impossible. How will it work?” I have to stop, thank God for His provision for THIS year (and last year, and the one before that) and trust Him with future years and all the impossible problems that seem to be lurking just around the corner. One day at a time…

  34. Amy says:

    I am apparently in the minority here, but my heart sank a bit when I read the title of this post that “All kids have special needs.” On the one hand, I agree with you. Every person is a composition of unique and diverse needs. But by applying the term ‘special needs’ to everyone, it dilutes the meaning and seems to trivialize the struggles of raising a child with special needs. I often wonder why I cannot keep up with everything and then I remember, our lives are not like most other people’s. Most moms don’t have 5 therapy appointments a week for their child, most don’t have to scratch cook every meal and snack due to food allergies, most don’t have to juggle a team of 8 therapists and 4 docs for a single child, most don’t have to make special arrangements so their child can hopefully be included in the Christmas pageant at church. Raising a child with special needs is not just about qualities that are unique to the individual. There is so much more to it than that.

    • Yzabel says:

      I’m so glad you wrote this because you absolutely read my mind!

    • Jamie Martin says:

      Hugs to you, Amy. I would never try to make light of the challenges of your unique experience. Of course there is much more involved that varies depending on the needs involved. It sounds like you are doing an amazing job and you deserve to be honored for all your do. Consider this my standing ovation (truly!)

    • Rachel says:

      I agree with you, Amy. Watering down the term special needs certainly isn’t doing my child with legitimate special needs any favors. We have to fight and advocate for quality care, yet my neurotypical children receive it quickly and easily because they’re “normal”. I think quirky is a great adjective for anything but a disability. All kids have quirks, but not all kids have legitimate special needs. I understand the heart of your message, but I’m bummed out that as the mom of a child with literal special needs, that you could throw it around so loosely. I would not define my NT child’s love of all things black and batman related as a special need any more than I’d define my ASD child’s verbal and facial tics and inability to speak as a quirk.

      • Judy says:

        I can understand where you and Amy are coming from. Perhaps you are hurting or have been mistreated along your path. But your words make me wonder, my middle daughter is easily overwhelmed by sights, smells, and sound, and she tires easily when working through writing assignments and new concepts. I must break down tasks into small step incraments or she dissolves into tears. She doesn’t understand figures of speech. She is ridged and concrete in her thinking. She is lactose intolerant. And she easily and frequently suffers from headaches and tummy aches due to the noise and activity level that is ever present in out home due to living with her brother and sister who are both diagnosed ASD and intense sensory seekers. She dislpays countless identical characteristics of her brother who is diagnosed, but she herself has been denied a diagnosis multiple times. Are you really going to say that because from a medical standpoint she is neuro-typical, her needs are any less special or “legitimate” than her brother’s or sister’s? I’m sorry, but I refuse to agree. Love, attention and individuality are every child’s “legitimate” and “literal” special need. I do agree that some children and adults have valid medical, emotional, social or phyciscal challanges that require extra or different assistance or intervention. But in my experience my daughter is the one who would fall through the cracks if I wasn’t the one constantly fighting for her, and adjusting to her needs. I have seen good people suffer because someone, somewhere arbitrarily decided that their needs were not “legitimate” enough. I have a hard time thinking of myself as a “special needs” parent, because this is the only parenting I have ever known, even though I see how different things are for us than many families. I am simply a parent and I will do whatever it takes to help my kids thrive. I have no doubt that you are too.
        Judy’s latest post: Keys

  35. Absolutely wonderful post! I could not have said it better myself. I often try to relate this same idea to people, but without experience it is hard to fully relay. You did a masterful job articulating it. We have one “diagnosed” special needs child with 5 others, so far, who are just as special and unique in their needs. I also know the feeling of shouldering the load of “fixing” my children and learning the lesson that it is only God who could change anything about them, and always in His timing. Thanks for the great reminder =0)
    Julie Ann Filter’s latest post: 5 Ways to Make Birthdays Special

  36. Kara says:

    I have a special needs brother who was adopted into our family when he was 18 months. I remember my mom having days where sitting at the kitchen table crying was just part of life. I know she worried for his hfuture, but she also trusted God to give him the best life. Erik is 32 and has a great life, a full life. He is such a blessing to my children. In fact, growing up with my brother helped me not freak out when I recognized symptoms of a learning disability in all three of my school age kids. I took a cue from my mom and learned as much as I could about dyslexia. Also, because my mom was often lonely during our growing up years I have a heart for special needs families.

  37. Three of my four sons struggled with learning to read, but two more than others. One of them had eyesight issues while the other dealt with some hearing loss. It was difficult for me to accept that I had to think outside the box to teach them. I wanted it to look the way I wanted to teach, not the way they needed to be taught. We have pushed through, gotten outside help at times, and learned to not be quiet about our struggles… Teaching children that struggle with learning can be very hard and lonely sometimes. I found though, when I shared, there were moms that struggled with almost the same things. I just needed to share.
    Martha Artyomenko’s latest post: Large Family Thanksgiving

  38. Tracee says:

    We have an adopted daughter with special needs that aren’t obvious to most people who interact with her. It can be a very lonely road. This is our first year homeschooling and it’s been such a struggle…. nothing like I hoped and prayed for. This post was so timely for me. I’m such a fixer, it’s hard for me to remember that it’s not my job to fix all that went on in my daughter’s past, or make it better…. Thank you so much for the reminder and encouraging words.
    Tracee’s latest post: Holiday Traditions {link up}

  39. Lorelie says:

    Hi Jamie, great post! My husband and I are in the beginning stages of adopting a little child with down Syndrome (insert *gasp!* of family members and friends who are thinking “What if it’s too hard??! or, “you might regret it! lol) I am wondering, are you aware of any blogs of anyone homeschooling a child with downs? I would love to follow and prepare us a bit:) If so, THANK YOU!!

  40. Heather says:

    Love this post. I homeschool my eight year old special needs son. Last week I was just so tired, so I called my sitter to watch the kids for a few hours and went to the library for a bit of silence. I ended up finding and reading In the Syndrome Mix by Martin Kutscher. In his book Kutscher provided a few simple and timely reminders. Sometimes I doubt myself, my parenting, my ability to teach my child. I am overly sensitive to the opinions of those who do not support my choice to homeschool. Just taking a break, having some silence and time to reflect and reading a book which addressed the needs of my child was very helpful. Sometimes it’s hard to think in the chaos of home!
    Heather’s latest post: So, What Does Your Christmas Tree Say About You?

  41. Judy says:

    Everyone in my family has special needs, some diagnosed, some not, from Autism to Alzhiemer’s, and many things in between. Even our pets, our dog is aging, one of our birds cannot fly, and our cat is blind. We as a family don’t focus on the disabilities. We are who we are. We love each other, annoy each other, and laugh together. As parents we try to guide our kids to use their strengths to overcome or counterbalance the weaknesses. Homeschooling has been the most incredible medium for this to blossom in. Each can find and use their talents and gain confidence and contentment. I wholly agree that EVERY child has “special needs”, and too many are being packed into the mold of uniformity, or being left behind because if the intensity and frequency of demands placed on parents struggling to meet the demands of a child(ren) that needs more intensive care. What a loss to our future to stifle or make to feel less important such unique and precious infividuality. Thank you for reminding the world that all of us need to feel special.
    Judy’s latest post: Keys

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