Family: Holidays Vs. Special Needs Families

It’s the first #FridayFWords, and it synced up PERFECTLY with a piece I wrote for Oklahoma City Mom’s Blog that was posted this morning.

Now listen, let’s be honest with each other:

I have to post a little teaser and then lead you to the article via a link. Why? Because I’m contractually obligated to, that’s why! I have to trust you will follow the link to read more and man, it’s hard to get people to do that many times in bloggy world. So here I say, TRUST ME. It’s funny, it’s true, and most of all, you can pass it on to your family before that big get together that’s coming up. Here we go:

Dear Grandparents, Aunts & Uncles, and The Guy Your Cousin Always Has Hanging Around But You’re Not Sure What the Deal Is:

Hi.

It’s me. Your family member with a child that has additional needs. I thought we could have a heart to heart before we drown ourselves in Christmas Cheer and ham.

Every year during the holiday season, I watch two versions of social media unfold within my special needs community. There are the public family pictures with smiles and endearing anecdotes, and then there are the behind the scenes messages in our private groups. Whatever the story and scenario, it ends with mom after mom feeling hurt and isolated by the very people who are supposed to be loving and supporting her unconditionally:  The Family.

Follow the link for the rest of the article. It includes a pretty funny picture caption. What are you waiting for?! HAPPY FRIDAY!

 

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5 thoughts on “Family: Holidays Vs. Special Needs Families

  1. It’s not the strangers or loose acquaintances that get to me. It’s not like I was remotely familiar with what an autism diagnosis actually meant before our boy came. So I take their “advice” and “exasperated stares” with a spoon of salt. No, it’s the family and close friends who either can’t or won’t accept the reality of what it’s like to live with my whirling dervish. Especially after they’ve watched him grow and been told countless times. Your article perfectly illustrates that. Standing ovation.

    1. Thanks, Papa. I hate that it resonates and please know I totally meant Dad and every space that the word mom was placed. Something called “mom’s blog” tends to like to focus on the mother aspect 😉

      The good news is that it does get easier and better as time passes. My son got diagnosed at 3 and man, are only community Education was Dustin Hoffman as Rain Man and Jenny McCarthy. Not the best. Not. The. Best. I was slumming it over in Myspace and checking checking out this new thing called Google. I think the only place I talked to parents online about autism was on a Yahoo board. The struggle was real LOL.

      My emotions were raw and I barely knew what I was doing during that time. Family get-togethers were tough especially because he has a cousin that is just about a year younger than him. Talk about ugh. There was a period of time I didn’t talk to my mother and there were times that it got nasty. (She follows the blog and would agree. Mom, feel free to add in your two cents). I think what helped me the most was advocating for Aiden in my day-to-day life and learning how to be strong and that sense. In turn, I learned how to effectively talk to everybody and not get too butthurt (even though I still sometimes do get butthurt, I’m human).

      The kid is almost 14 now and I think we are finally in our groove (most of the time) when it comes to autism and get-togethers. Hopefully, the same will happen for you and yours.

      1. No apologies needed whatsoever. Like you said, it was a piece for a Mom’s Blog! Fortunately for the most part, family’s been super supportive, even though some of them still don’t quite “get” that this isn’t a phase for him. This is who he is. That said, Christmas is absolutely his favorite time of the year, as evidenced by the non-stop marathons of “Rudolph” and “Frosty” that I’m subjected to THE WHOLE YEAR ROUND. Seeing him light up makes dealing with all the other craziness easy.

        Keep on speaking truth! Love every world and very much appreciate your sharing. It’s always a pleasure to get the perspectives of “veterans”! Merriest of Christmases to you and yours!

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