A Personal Note (and a bit of what I am reading right now)

One of the greatest strength a parent of a child can have is a problem-solving attitude.

  • “How can I make this happen?
  • “What can be done to fix this?”
  • “Where can I learn more?”
  • “Who can help me figure out how to do this?”

This doesn’t mean being extraordinary (or having extraordinary skills or resources), it does mean trying to do extraordinary things for your children.  To try to find solutions instead of excuses.  To try to seek out the education and knowledge.  To try to face challenges rather than avoiding them.

I have been struggling with my children’s challenges (as every parent does!).  I feel bombarded with social media messages that paints a picture of being as parent as just being too hard.  The message seems to alternate between just give-up and go along for the ride (check this link for a few examples).

Not really helpful.  While I can appreciate sarcasm, and I do have a sense of humor (I promise I do!), I don’t agree that the answer always appears to be to resign to it and give up.  Parenting is really hard.  However, I have to try to be the best parent I can for my children. I try to find solutions to my children’s unique challenges.  It is a difficult journey and having a supportive community to encourage is hugely beneficial.

Paige and kidsI have been guided by some other wonderful people in my journey as a parent.  Moms and Dads who have been examples to me about being a thoughtful and purposeful parent.  Parents who also stay up until early morning hours preparing for IEP meetings, scour the library for parenting books, and get really excited for a new role of velcro to make specialized learning materials for home.  Parent who also know when it is most important to step back and take care of oneself first.

While I can’t share my personal friends with my readers online, I can share some of the support and resources I have found online that has been of guidance to me- other parents of special needs children who blog about their experiences.  Everyone’s journey is unique, but the online world allows you to connect with others who may be on a similar journey.  I have personally connected with several of these blog authors and found great encouragement from others on a similar journey to mine.

No Hands But Ours-  “No Hands But Ours began as a sliver of a dream in 2004, when Stefanie, now a mother of 12, was in the process of pursuing her first adoption from China. Stefanie struggled to find adequate resources for researching special needs, and was frustrated by the lack of real-life information from other parents of special needs children.”

Uncommon Sense– “If you’d like a 2 sentence summary:  This blog is about Maya, an adorable girl with special needs and no diagnosis (not for lack of trying).  I (Maya’s mom) give an honest voice to both the struggles of our situation and the joys it brings, with a touch (or handful) of sarcasm.”

Love That Max– “First came love (Dave), then marriage, then three kids (Max, Sabrina and Ben). Max has cerebral palsy. I launched Love That Max in October 2008 as an inspirational, informational, occasionally irreverent blog.”

Noah’s Dad-  “The story that Down syndrome ok.”

Born Just Right- “Every child is born just right. This site is a place where parents can come to share stories, read stories and feel safe as we all learn how to be parent advocates for our kids. It’s a wild ride that is best experienced when you lean on others and get the support you need.”

A list of other top parenting blogs related to disability: Top Mommy Blogs

Paige Hays is an occupational therapist who provides in-home, pediatric occupational therapy services in the south metro area of the Twin Cities, MN. She is a mother of 2 girls, avid DIYer, and a highly skilled and experienced OT. She specializes in working in pediatrics, with diverse expertise ranging from cognition and sensory issues to working with children with neuromuscular disabilities or complex medical needs.