Dealing with Special Needs

When your child is diagnosed with a special need, it’s easy to adopt a victim mentality. You feel like something that isn’t supposed to happen has happened to you, and you can’t do anything about it. At least that’s how I felt when we diagnosed our youngest daughter, Hannah, with autism.

But even amid the mind-numbing grief, we turned to familiar paths: we would teach ourselves all we could about autism and determine what would be best for our daughter each step of the way. That path was familiar because it was just like we had done through the years of homeschooling: if you don’t know about something, go read, think, and learn.

And that mind-set made all the difference.

You see, when you’re in a victim mentality, it’s easy to blindly follow whatever you are told to do. But intentional parents will do the research. They will dedicate themselves to learning about all the facets of their situation and exploring the pros and cons to all the options they discover.

I encourage you to be intentional about your child’s special needs. Listen to others, but don’t assume they know best. Think about what they say, learn all you can, seek God’s guidance, and then do what will be most beneficial for your child at this point.

You don’t have to be a victim. You can choose to be an intentional parent.

If you are dealing with autism, I’ll be happy to share the results of our research and what we have learned (and are learning) along the way.

  • Autism Symptoms and FAQ—A description of our daughter at four years old when we diagnosed her with autism.
  • Hannah’s Therapy—Descriptions, explanations, and examples of the three types of therapy we have implemented through the years: ABA, Dietary changes, and RDI.
  • Hannah’s Progress—Selected memoirs, journal entries, and letters to loved ones that give a peek into Hannah’s progress year by year.
  • This Anguishing Blessed Journey—This mother’s thoughts, prayers, and encouragement from Scripture that helped me make it through the first year after the diagnosis.
  • Resources for Special Needs—The books and Web sites that have been a great help to us dealing with autism.