1 Mom on Comparing Special Needs Kids to Other Children: It's Like "Monster Trucks" and "Mini Coopers"
Britt LeBoeuf, a mom of two and blogger at These Boys of Mine, has a PSA for all the moms and dads out there: "Being a parent is hard. Being a special needs parent is harder." In a moving post, she broke down several situations to explain her stance, and of course, it's hard not to agree with her.
"Comparing the two is like comparing apples to oranges. Or monster trucks to Mini Coopers," she explained. "While they are both 'in the same vein' they are really not that much alike when you step back and look at them."
To hammer her point home, the mom of two ran through several everyday examples of how having a special needs child is a different experience, touching on everything from starting kindergarten to trying to schedule a date night.
"Comparing the two is like comparing apples to oranges. Or monster trucks to Mini Coopers."
"While you worry about which kindergarten teacher your son will have, I have to worry about what kind of classroom my son will have to go in to best meet his needs and abilities," she said. As far as giving her kids attention? That's not so easy, either. "While you are able to give both of your kids equal attention, my neurotypical child tends to get the short end of the stick because my other child needs more of our attention and has exhausted us."
And scheduling any type of social event — whether it be an afternoon at the park or a night out with her husband — is a challenge.
"While you get to make spur of the moment play dates to the local park, I have to have notice of that plan so I can prepare my son and I to go — snacks, talk to him about it before, and an excuse to leave if things don't work out," she said. "While you enjoy a date night with your husband while the neighborhood high schooler watches your kids, I can only rely on a few trusted caregivers to watch mine because not just anyone can deal with any behaviors that might come up while we are out."
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Britt confessed she's also constantly worried about everything including her son getting bullied, the missed developmental milestones, and his future.
"While you worry about your child getting a good job or going to a good college, I have to worry about if my child will ever be able to hold steady employment or live on his own," she wrote.
Although Britt wants other parents to be aware of just how difficult raising a kid with special needs can be, she certainly doesn't want anyone to take pity on her family.
"I don't say these things to make you feel sorry for me or my child," she said. "Nor to make it sound like you don't have hard days as a mother. I am not trying to compare the two or play the 'poor me' card. I'm trying to give you insight into what it is like for us special needs parents. We live with these things everyday. Every. Day."