Wilderness River – Special Needs Parenting Style

Hubby on canoe trip

I look at Special Needs Parenting like canoeing down a fast river – full of rocks and raging rapids – without a map! We don’t know what is coming ahead, and honestly, we don’t know where we are going either. We zoom past rocks and through rough waves and get battered, scraped and scared. Crack! We’ve hit a rock, are shocked by the impact, and then are carried off down the river again before we fully realise what happened.

What happens to us? We hug our life jackets and start to use our paddles to push us off the rocks we can see. We know sometimes scary things lie beneath the surface, but we try to avoid all the obstacles we can. We brace ourselves for impact with things we cannot see.

We also start to call for help, and quickly realise we are not alone on this river. Look! Over there! It’s another person! And they’re in a canoe too, going down the river at the same time as us – they become company and moral support. We say, we can do it, together. We help each other when we’re stuck on rocks, and lift our canoes together over logjams.

We shout out – and hear voices ahead! That’s someone who’s further down the river than us, and they yell a warning of a waterfall ahead! We dodge just in time and miss going over the edge. Thank God for their guidance.

But wait! We hear voices behind us too! We can’t see them, but people are following us down this river too. Do they know about that sunken log we just missed? It will tip their canoe! We yell for them to watch out! There is danger in the water. We hope they missed it as they speed down the river.

In calm parts of the river we pause, as our canoes gently drift along, and we begin to appreciate the view. This is scenery not many people ever get to see. No one really goes this way at all. We call out to the few others floating along and admire the beauty of sunsets, forests and the ever changing river.

In the land of Special Needs we need other parents to act as companions and guides (look out! rocks ahead!) as we speed through never-ending hospital visits, medical exams, medication trials, paper work, and countless therapist appointments, etc, etc, etc…

We all speed down this river at different times and experience different things, but it’s great that parents can do it together -thank you to all parents for being a guide and companion on this ride.


About Angela

Super-powered, Special Ed teacher and special needs mama to FOUR (!) children with an assortment of special needs; including Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Prader Willi Syndrome. Our family features a heavy dose of good ol' ADHD). I blog about our halfpastnormal life.
This entry was posted in disABILTY, Halfpastnormal is who we are, Parenting and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Wilderness River – Special Needs Parenting Style

  1. coyotetooth says:

    And learning how to read the water ; ) enjoyed the read

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