Special Needs Children
Being a grace based parent requires a lot of time on our knees, and no one knows this better than people caring for special needs children or individuals.
Being a parent or caregiver of a person with special needs is thankless, exhausting, discouraging and constant. Often, these caregivers feel isolated and lonely. They very rarely get the respite and relief that they need to take care of themselves. At Family Matters, we have a soft place in our heart for these parents. You are important to us!
We want to provide you with a place for support and resources, so we turned to our friends Dr. Joe and Cyndi Ferrini, Authors of the book, UNEXPECTED JOURNEY – When Special Needs Change our Course and parents of 3 adult children, one with special needs. Joe and Cyndi are also speakers for Family Life’s Weekend to Remember conferences.
As we partner with the Ferrini’s to broaden the scope of what it means to be a grace-based parent raising all children for true greatness, we offer their expertise of care-giving and raising their son (now an adult) who has multiple special needs (cerebral palsy, mental retardation – now being termed mental deficiencies or intellectual disabilities , epilepsy, and severe allergies).
Special needs include those factors that challenge people in their ability to communicate, to think, to move, hindering them from being able to participate normally in learning, basic day-to-day life, and relationship skills. Some special needs are noticeable at birth, some come as a result of a tragic accident, others take time to come into view, and still others in later years result in decreasing reasoning skills accompanying disease and illness. Each disability is different, yet many manifest themselves in like behaviors and mannerisms. The list is long: attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHA), dementia, developmental delays, severe allergies, Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), asthma, autism, behavioral issues related to brain injury or birth defects (brain and spinal injury, brain malformations, brain damage, brain disease), BPD (borderline personality disorder now called emotional-impulse regulation disorder or ERD), cerebral palsy, fine motor skills, learning disabilities, premature birth, eating disorders, epileptic seizures, language and speech disorders, mental illnesses, mental retardation, obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), oral motor/feeding problems, orthopedic disabilities, sensory integration and motor impairments, speech impairments, spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, traumatic brain injury/head trauma, vision and hearing impairments, including total blindness and deafness, chromosomal abnormalities, birth defects, and cleft palate are only a few off the top of our heads. The list goes on and on and on. The various levels and degrees of each disability or serious health issues with long-term repercussions make the list even longer. Some people exhibit several of the listed disabilities, yet the people represented in the previous list (and the disabilities not mentioned) all look for hope and healing in the midst of how each special need reveals itself.