Guest Author - Cynthia Parker
I would like to introduce you to Pam Wilson, Editor of the Special Needs Children section of BellaOnline.com.
I met Pam a week ago when she wrote me in regards to my original article on raising children who have been abandoned by their noncustodial parent. I went on to tell her that I had referred some of my readers to her and we got into a short discussion of the issues of parenting with special needs vs. “normal” children. What I discovered is that parenting issues are parenting issues, regardless of the child. And that Pam is a wonderful person with a great sense of humor and an honesty and open-ness that reflects why she is wonderful as the Special Needs Children’s Editor.
Pam wrote me: “Something that I remind parents I meet is that just as our children are more like typically developing children than they are different, we are more like other mainstream parents than we are different – because basically we are just mainstream parents on a wider continuum of parents than we expected.”
“When my son was a baby, I took a Mommy and Me, Two at a Time class with him and his sister. At the same time, I attended a parent support class at his early intervention center. What struck me every week was the difference in response to the same issues I heard. Families of children with special needs were concerned about most of the same things as the families of the mainstream children, age appropriate behavior or relationship issues in all marriages with young children in the family.”
“Even so, I often forgot that my son might be responding in an age appropriate way; however frustrating, heartbreaking, or odd behavior ensued, until I’d talk to one of my friends from that mainstream Mommy and me class and find out one of their children was either doing the same thing , or something stranger.”
“It was reassuring that I could be a support and encourage them through rough times, just as they did me – because there is a certain threshold of experience that we pass when we become mothers beyond which we are each overwhelmed regularly.”
For any of you single parents with Special Needs children, I hope that you continue to network here at the Single Parents site. But I would also recommend that you visit Pam at the Special Needs Children site. I believe that she has the insight and compassion that will be an added boost to your on-line support system!