@ least 10 things you might need to know as a friend
If you are a special needs parent, you probably have many needs, right? Well, Gillian Marchenko has shared ten of hers, and I thought they were worth re-sharing here. As an advocate for caregivers, there are some real nuggets for folks who love parents of special needs people. I hope that is you! Be blessed and be a blessing,
10 Special Needs of Special Needs Parents:
- We need you to bring it up. Ask us our stories. Most parents of children with special needs would prefer that others ask them about their child directly, rather than avoiding the topic.
- We need our kids to have friends. We want you to invite our kids over for playdates. Simply call and ask, “How can we make this work?”
- We need you to share your concerns. If you are concerned about something regarding our child, tell us about it. We may not have an answer, but we appreciate the opportunity to have a conversation about it.
- We need you to make an effort. Effort goes a long way. Educate yourself about our child’s special needs.
- We need you to prepare your kids to hang out with our kids. Talk with your kids about it beforehand. Talk about behaviors and ways your child can play with our children.
- We need you to be considerate. Consider the age of the child with special needs. If it is a new baby or a younger kid, we may not be ready to talk about it.
- We need your tangible help. Offer to bring over a meal, or watch our child with special needs so we can take our other child to a matinee.
- We need you to treat us like other friends, too. Talk about other things with us besides our child with special needs.
- We need validation. Don’t dismiss our concerns. When we open up about a struggle, I want validation, not to be blown off.
- We need invitations. Don’t assume we’re too busy. Ask us out to eat or to a movie. We may not be able to get away as easily as others, but we’ll go if we can. Even if we can’t, your invitation will make our day.
During my own research, I have discovered these 10 things to be true. After interviewing a mother of a special needs daughter, she immediately shared concerns about people in her life not knowing her story, the lack of social engagements for her child, and the increasing need for tangible help. It pained me to see her pain. Then I ran across this list, and it was a confirmation that this message needs to get out.