The 9 stages of special needs parenting

Today I went through my monthly ritual of looking for even more Facebook parent groups to join, in the hope that somewhere is the group of people who will understand our exact set of challenges — or better yet, have the right set of solutions.

It suddenly struck me: this is just the latest stage in the longstanding process of looking for the magic bullet that will transform our very challenging experience of parenting into something that looks more like all those happy TV families with neuro-typical kids. As I’ve met more and more parents of gifted, special needs and 2E (twice exceptional, i.e. gifted + special needs) kids, I’ve recognized that many of them have gone through the same kind of process we’ve experienced:

  1. As soon as we figure out how to get a night’s sleep, it’ll be ok.
  2. As soon as we get our childcare sorted out, it’ll be ok.
  3. As soon as we find the right school, it’ll be ok.
  4. As soon as we get the right individual educational plan in place, it’ll be ok.
  5. As soon as we find the right support worker, it’ll be ok.
  6. As soon as we find the right dietary restrictions, it’ll be ok.
  7. As soon as we find the right online support group, it’ll be ok.
  8. As soon as we figure out the right screen time restrictions, it’ll be ok.
  9. As soon as we find the right therapist, it’ll be ok.

Guess what? It may never be ok.

Also: It’s already ok.

This post originally appeared on alexandrasamuel.com.

Author, Remote Inc: How To Thrive at Work…Wherever You Are. Tech speaker. Writer & data journalist for Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review & more.

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