Blog  /  Parenting, Special Needs  /  Special Needs Parents Aren’t Special

Grace Based Parenting, Inside Out

You must be “special people” to have a special child…

 It’s a phrase that’s often said to us special needs parents, and I can only assume  it’s said with good intentions as an attempt to give us a compliment but, inside, I want to scream!!!

I wish I were such a very special person that I came equipped with just the right….

  • Tools
  • Attitude
  • Stamina
  • Sense of Humor
  • Did I mention attitude?
  • Patience
  • Dedication
  • Loving heart
  • Gratitude
  • I think I might have mentioned attitude already

……..to care for our son with special needs.

I have a sense when people say that phrase, they think the ease we show in caring for our child/ren just comes naturally or we were somehow gifted by God to do what we do. Neither is false but perhaps neither is true.

I never worked with children with special needs, and except for one friend who had a family member that I would occasionally get to visit and classes in our junior high school, I really had no one in my life (ever) that had special needs. So, I had no training and few occasions to be with someone who had special needs. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to…I simply never thought of it or really pursued it. Some think we (yes, you, too) are gifted by God to do the kind of caregiving we do. I’m almost certain that we’d agree that just isn’t so.

So, let’s set the record straight. We are not special and not gifted to care for ones with special needs, but perhaps we’d agree that the bond of parenting (with a few exceptions) is so strong that it is the love we have for our children with special needs that keeps us going. We become “special people” only because we love dearly the one who has been entrusted to us. I suppose in that way I feel special that God thought I might do okay in this role! If that is what makes us special, then super. I think all of us can rise to the occasion to care for, love, and be devoted to one that has special needs. I actually think those who don’t get to experience caring for someone with special needs are missing out on some very special moments, people, and opportunities.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to care for our son. I’m not all that special, but I am definitely blessed.

Joe and Cindi Ferrini

Joe and Cindi have been married since 1979, live in Cleveland, OH, have 3 grown children (one with special needs), grandchildren, and enjoy speaking and writing together on topics related to marriage and family (FAMILYLIFE’S “WEEKEND TO REMEMBER Get-A-Ways” as well as for organizations pertaining to special needs), leadership, and time/life management. Joe has practiced dentistry since 1978; Cindi enjoys writing (books, blogs, articles, etc.), speaking, radio, and social media. Together they have written articles and blogs for Focus on the Family, FamilyLife, http://specialneedsparenting.net and here at FamilyMatters, and authored UNEXPECTED JOURNEY: When Special Needs Change our Course. They’d love to connect with you at: www.joeferrini.com or www.cindiferrini.com

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