These Are the 18 Things Parents of Children With Special Needs Want You to Know

Every single child is unique and special in their own way. Every single child, whether they have special needs or not, deserves to be treated as such, and deserves to be respected as an individual with traits and talents that undoubtedly differ from other kids. We asked real parents, "What do you wish everyone knew about your child with special needs?" to find out what is most important for them, as parents of kids with special needs, to make sure others understand.

Scroll through to see their heartfelt responses.

  1. "That he's special, just like every other kid. We're all unique, maybe it's time we were all treated that way." — Jodie
  2. "That just because she can't talk doesn't mean she doesn't understand absolutely everything you say to and around her." — Crystal
  3. "That he's not bad. I get so tired of hearing that!" — Carolyn
  4. "That he's not a whiny brat, that crying and fits of anger are how he communicates that his surroundings are too much." — Mary
  5. "That he is a good boy with a big heart who just has challenges the rest of us don't have. He doesn't want to misbehave, but he can't control it. And that I'm not spoiling him by cutting him some slack." — Brandye
  6. "That he is different, not less." — Susan
  7. "There is nothing wrong with her mentally. She is a normal 11-year-old who has crushes, likes to hang out, and go to dances. Life is not easy for her in any way but she makes the best of it." — Renee
  8. "That just because she has a disability doesn't mean she's not smart, fun, kind . . . " — Anne-Marie
  9. "Remember that he's only six, and just because he is developmentally delayed and his speech is significantly delayed doesn't mean he's not capable. He can do it, he will do it . . . " — Nicole
  10. "That he has autism rather than being autistic. He has a disorder but his disorder isn't who he is." — Liz
  11. "That the things she struggles with can't be fixed with 'more discipline.'" — Ashley
  12. "That, yes, I understand that he can be annoying, but he is a very sensitive kid who has suffered through being bullied his whole life, and doesn't need you to make him feel like crap." — Jennifer
  13. "Just because you 'can't tell' he has a disability, doesn't mean he doesn't." — Jennifer
  14. "That it's not his fault and it's not our fault!" — Jason-Jenny
  15. "Just because he 'seems' like he has no issues, it can turn on a dime, and it's not him just acting up. Sensory issues are very real. But because they can't be seen people don't take it seriously." — Melissa
  16. "That his angry outbursts don't mean that he hasn't been raised with discipline, that I'm not parenting properly. They aren't the result of him being a brat — they are the result in over-stimulation, sensory issues, triggers, etc." — Jennifer
  17. "That my son is brilliant. So many people assume he is educationally impaired because his legs do not work. The pity voice they use to speak to him is insulting." — Kimberly
  18. "That he's awesome." — Cassie