Parenting is never easy but there are certain talents that parents of special needs children really need to hone to the level of a superhero. It’s not because they are a better mum or dad and it definitely isn’t for fun, it is borne entirely out of requirement for survival and experience!
SKILL ONE – PSYCHIC POWERS
We can predict the future! I wake up each morning and the first thing I do is listen. I listen for atmosphere, for energy and for movement and through this I can predict whether it’ll be a good Jude day or a bad Jude day.
And those events that are going to be entirely melt down inducing seem to have the ability to flash up in red lights before we’ve even fully comprehended what’s going on. Walking into an unfamiliar setting with our children, our minds go into over drive. The room kind of goes echoey as your mind shifts into analysis overdrive and from that we can tell within the first few glances if the immediate future is going to be full of smiles. Certain scenarios, particular groups of people…we know, before it has even happened how events will turn out!
SKILL TWO – THE HEARING SKILLS OF AN OWL
I can hear what Jude is up to when he is in his bedroom with the door shut and I’m downstairs with the girls. We can have friends over and through our chatter it will be apparently silent upstairs but I know, I just know what he’s up to and whether I need to intervene.
I can hear him in a soft play centre, I can hear any potential hazard and I can tune into any potential problems above the noise of everyone chatting, oblivious to their surroundings.
Can you relate?
SKILL THREE – THE ABILITY TO SMILE NO MATTER WHAT
So many times, we just carry on. It’s what we do and often how we cope.
SKILL FOUR – SKIN AS THICK AS A RHINO
Similar to above, we take everything that is thrown at us and we don’t bat an eyelid. Occasionally, something will be said that hits hard and the words or action will pierce our skin, forever embedded in our mind. However, the majority of the time, we brush off any assumed confrontation and continue marching on in the direction we need to go.
SKILL FIVE – THE ABILITY TO MAKE A MEAL OUT OF THE FOUR FOODS YOUR CHILD WILL CURRENTLY EAT
I’m pretty lucky in that Jude will eat quite a few foods but I know of so many children who will only eat certain textures, certain colours and refuse all else. Jude is fussier than he used to be and a dream meal for him is literally plain pasta, tinned beans, some green beans and a side order of beany beans.
SKILL SIX – THE ABILITY TO LAUGH IN THE FACE OF DESPAIR
If, for the millionth time that week, you walk downstairs to a house full of shoes balancing on every possible door handle and you can still laugh whilst you collect them all up then you are an awesome special needs mum.
SKILL SEVEN – SPEED AND AGILITY
Again, we’re lucky in that Jude isn’t a “runner” but I know of a few children who are and when they go, they’re like a whippet! One minute they’re there and in the blink of an eye, they’re off down the road. As a special needs parent in these situations, you need to combine skills one, three, seven and eight thus proving skill ten!
SKILL EIGHT – MULTI-TASKING
We do all of the above, some times at once, thus proving our multi-tasking mastery.
Can you add to this list?