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Talking with Others about Your Special Needs Child

Posted by on October 20, 2014 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Those with special needs children may find it difficult to speak about their children the way others do

Whom you talk to about your special needs child is completely up to you. You may have coworkers who know you have a child, but little about them. Or someone you chat with at the coffee shop, but it just hasn’t come up yet. When and if you do tell these people about your child, what are the pieces of information to share?

Don’t feel the need to tell them the whole diagnosis
You can keep things simple when talking about your child’s diagnosis. You can say “they’re autistic” instead of telling them the details, or even just say “they’re on the spectrum.” You may remember all the things the doctor has said over the years, but your kid may have already grown out of some of those diagnoses. Only share information you’re comfortable with telling them.

Tell them the positive things, but only as much as you’d like
Maybe your child rode their bike for the first time last week, and you’d like to share that with a friend. Go right ahead! But you also don’t need to get too personal. Having a feeding tube removed may be incredible news to your family, but if you feel like it’s too much to get into with someone you don’t know very well, don’t worry about it. You can just say you had a really great weekend and leave it at that.

Don’t hide the realities: talk about the stress
ALL parents are stressed. Raising children is a stressful process. You don’t need to only talk about your child’s achievements and make every day sound like a miraculous one. Your friends, even those without kids, can relate to someone being stubborn. Denying the reality of the situation just means you take more of those stresses on to your shoulders, instead of sharing them and being able to laugh about them later.

Above all, stay in your comfort zone. Just because someone is sharing about their kid, doesn’t mean you have to share about yours. Or just because they’re not sharing, doesn’t mean you can’t tell them that you’re really proud/happy/frustrated with/enamored of your child. We here at TotalHomeCareSupplies.com would love to hear about your experiences talking with friends, family or acquaintances about your special needs child.