Parents of Special Needs Kids
Being a Parent is Hard
But, being a parent of a medically fragile child or a child with learning differences can feel next to impossible.
As a psychotherapist and parent of a special needs child of my own, I understand the struggle first hand. Since I know from the inside what it feels like to be a special needs parent, I intimately understand the emotional issues involved and how they affect each decision we parents make.
That understanding shapes every interaction I have with parents.
What Does “Special Needs” Really Mean?
There is no clear definition of what it means for a child to have “special needs.” Some people think of special needs as involving a serious or chronic medical condition. When it comes to these parents, it is clear that the additional demands on parents of chronically ill children cause stress that affects the whole family.
Chronic illnesses are not the only type of special needs that children have. Some children have special emotional needs, including children with severe cases of depression or other mood disorders, ADHD, psychosis, autism and other emotional and/or cognitive disorders.
How Psychotherapy Can Help
Parenting children with special needs can increase problems with family and marital functioning, disrupt parent-child relationships, reduce parenting efficacy, and increase levels of parent stress. Often times parents who are caring for children with mental illness find it extremely difficult to get their own mental health needs met while trying to meet the mental health needs of their child.