Raising Special Kids with Special Needs

By | April 30, 2019

Parenting is hard. Like really hard. Like trying to win a fight with your wife hard. You get no training, a ton of responsibility, constant audio abuse and you get to do all it with almost no sleep. It is incredibly rewarding, but there isn’t a parent out there that doesn’t struggle with it at least a little bit.

But for some parents, it can be even harder. These parents have the normal challenges of raising kids but have an extra hurdle to deal with. Their kid has some sort of special need. These kids can take the normal stresses of being a parent and crank it up to 11. You know, that might not be accurate. Depending on what type of special needs your kid has it can crank things up to 1,085,987,405 and 1/28th.

Your child’s special needs may vary. It could be anything from Autism, allergies, learning disabilities, physical disabilities behavioral issues or any of a host of disorders that can make parenting just that much more difficult. The added challenges don’t only affect the child or the parent. The issue can affect and take a toll on the entire family

Why am I bringing this up? Well I, like many parents out there, have a child with some special needs.

In my case….

In my family, both of my girls have some form of special needs. My older daughter’s issues I have talked about before. When she was two years old we found out she had a brain tuhttps://kzoodad.com/every-parents-worst-nightmare-ellas-html/mor. Fortunately, with the help of doctors and therapists, she is now doing great. There is almost no sign of what she went through. I have written at length about this time of her life, so I won’t talk about it much here.

This article is about my other daughter. She has a whole different set of challenges that we need to overcome. She has been diagnosed with sensory Issues, anxiety and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Wait, before you go let me explain. I know how many kids claim to have ADHD. For a long time, it was trendy to say any brat with an attitude was ADHD. I know how overused the diagnosis is. But trust me on this one. For us it is real.

Kids With Special Needs

Allow me to describe my daughter’s issues and why her doctors and us came to this conclusion. First is the most obvious, she never stops moving. She is also so strong willed I am confident she is going to be a CEO someday. Well, a CEO or a crime boss. All I know for sure is whatever she does she will be in charge.

I wish I could stop there but that’s not all. Everything upsets her, she has trouble controlling her temper, is destructive and in what just seems like a cruel joke, she also suffers from night terrors.


Mealtime can be one of the most difficult times of the day. She will never eat what we make. I am so tired of fighting her to eat what everyone else is. Often, we try to make her a second meal. But even with her own requested food, many times she still refuses to eat. If we are lucky, she will take a bite or two before declaring herself done. Then only a few minutes later she will ask for a snack.

Going to a restaurant can be a nightmare. Besides the difficulty in getting her to sit still, she will order and then she will change her mind. When the food she ordered comes she will full meltdown because it isn’t what she wants now. In case you were wondering, those tired beaten parents you see at restaurants, that’s us.

At school

We have warned her teachers at school, trying to tell them what they are in for. They always laugh at us when we warn them at the first parent-teacher meeting. Sure we are overreacting. They never laugh at the second meeting. Just so you know when a teacher says your kid is strong-willed, that is teacher code for your kid is a pain in the ass. Just a friendly FYI there.

Some of you I am sure are thinking the secret is medication. Well, not so fast we tried that too. She has been on many different meds. Some seem to work for a while but her behavior issues return. We don’t want her on a ton of meds, but we are at a loss for what to do. Also, I feel really guilty about whining about our first child being difficult. Seriously we had no idea how good we had it.

Now for my dirty little secret….

I have no idea what I’m doing. Seriously. My wife and I have spoken with every doctor and psychiatrist that will see us. We have attended parenting classes, and read books. Our daughter has been in speech therapy, occupational therapy, play therapy, and socialization therapy. So far the only thing we have gained is more reward miles on our credit cards.  We are lucky we can pay for it, others aren’t so lucky

The most painful part is when she will have a moment where she is calm and happy. It is a cruel tease about what life could be like. She will cuddle up with me and tell me she hates how mad she gets. It bothers her that because of her tantrums she doesn’t have as many friends at school. She doesn’t want to act like she does. But then a few minutes later she will go into the other room to trying to ride the cat.

The Solution

Boy, do I wish I had something profound to tell you here. Some tip or process that worked and made everything better. But I don’t. I feel like we have tried everything. Now we are doubling back, trying to find something we missed or something that kinda worked that maybe we can try again.

It bothers me because I can’t help her and feel like I failed her. I have spent more time with her than anyone else. But I haven’t been able to teach her the life skills and control she will need to be a successful adult. I know some of her problems are directly connected to me. All the times I have given in only to unintentionally reinforce bad behaviors. All the times I have yelled in anger teaching her to use volume to get what she wants. With all the time we spent together I never found a way to beat this thing.

I don’t know what I am going to do. The only thing I can tell you for certain. My wife and I aren’t done trying. We love this kid too darn much to give up. I don’t know what the answer is but you can bet your ass we won’t rest until we find it. It isn’t like she was going to let us get any sleep anyway.
If you want to learn more about Ella’s Tumor check out Every Parents Worse Nightmare

Originally posted 8/22/18

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