- For those who have never experienced
the debilitating reality of special education life,
you truly don't understand.
The public face of special education
is one of hope, ambition, positive outlooks
However, behind the scenes
it's far too often much different.
The struggle of families going through this journey
is almost always filled with isolation.
At first, friends that you have counted
on are there for support, but after many truthful,
shoulder lifting, stress relieving emotional spews
of reality, many of those friends disappear.
They don't agree with how you're handling the situation.
They don't understand why you aren't taking their advice.
If they were in that situation, they'd just grin
and bear it as it will pass.
But as the months wear on, nothing passes.
It simply evolves.
And there you are, stressed, lonely, zero free time
to yourself and every single little thing you talk
about or do involves your child.
So what can be done.
How can a parent pull themselves
out of the depths of despair?
I have touched on this topic many times because I too
live this life.
As we grapple with how to help our son,
the rest of us including my wife and our daughter,
try to hold it all together.
Knowing deep down we are not alone and this too shall pass.
Today, we will talk about the three ways
we personally have been able to navigate
the challenges of having a behavior prone
physically aggressive, attention-seeking,
non-sleeping, lovable and adorable son
with both autism and muscular dystrophy
as part of our family.
Welcome to this episode
of Special Education Tips for Parents.
Before we dive into the three specific ways
we have been able to navigate this tough journey,
I'm hoping you can help.
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you will see a little logo with the word Subscribe on it.
Click that real quick.
Thank you so much.
Let's jump right in.
The number one way we have been able
to personally navigate this journey effectively
to this point is communication.
It's a fact that too many families
have broken apart due to stress.
Communicating your true feelings
will ultimately ensure that both parents
are on the same page at all times.
It's vital to also communicate effectively with siblings.
Do not leave them out.
Next on our list of challenge crushing strategies
of breaking out of the special education funk
First, shower, don't let yourself go.
It's easier sometimes to just stay in your PJs,
but that will only strengthen
the negative feelings you have.
Second, fill your bucket
with activities or hobbies you enjoy.
We are human, we need to have fun to get through
the toughest parts of this journey.
Lastly, seek professionals to assist you if needed.
This could be utilizing a respite service
for some much needed time away.
Or counselors that you can just unload upon
or even hiring a cleaning person
to take that off your plate.
Tip number three is to keep trying.
To never give up.
Always ask questions of those that have been
in your stage of the journey.
They're out there and they've learned through experience.
Also, try something new if what you're doing isn't working.
Don't do the same thing over and over again
while expecting different results.
That leads to insanity.
Lastly, plan activities that the whole family will enjoy.
This is tough, I know.
But for us it's as simple as a family outing
to a restaurant at this stage in our journey.
Now I'm gonna add one more thing in here
that's truly life-changing while you're in the moment,
especially during meltdowns.
Take a break.
Just walk away.
Go to a different room or outside for five minutes.
Decompress, breathe, relax, then calmly try again.
Look, I know this is not easy.
I know it seems like it will never improve.
We are at an early stage of our journey since
our son is only five.
However, I have the unique opportunity
to chat with parents every single day
about their journey, about their experiences
and one thing I've come to realize
is the saying this too shall pass is true.
It will be different, it will still be challenging.
But in the end, raising a difficult child
into a successful adult will be a defining moment for you.
Part of your legacy.
And one day at some point your child will thank you
for the sacrifices you've made,
making it all worth it.
From our family at specialedresource.com,
just know that you are not alone.
You've got this.
If there are any tips that have worked
for you in your journey, please share
them in the comments.
We'll catch you in the next episode.