Letter to My Special Needs Child

By Jennifer Janes, author of the blog Jennifer A. Janes

What a ride we’ve been on together! It’s often a rocky one, but I can honestly say, despite the struggles we’ve had and the challenges we face, that I’m thankful that you’re my child, and I can’t imagine life without you.

There are a few things on my heart that I really want you to know:

I love you. Yes, there are times when I get upset and don’t handle stress or frustration well, but I LOVE YOU. Nothing can ever change that.

I’m proud of you. I have seen all the hard work you do, how you keep pushing through the therapy sessions, the pain and discomfort your body causes you, the medication regimens, the frustration and disappointment, and the anxiety that threatens to undo you, and I’m proud of your perseverance and endurance. Keep it up!

You are not a burden. While it’s true that your needs come with a high price tag, the truth is that any one of us could experience a life-changing event that would cause us to need expensive medications, therapy, etc. too. None of us are guaranteed an easy, inexpensive life. You are not a burden. We love you!

I see you. I see YOU, not a list of diagnoses, medications, and therapy sessions. I’m thankful that I get to share life with you. Those who are don’t spend a lot of time with you are missing out. You are wonderful, gifted with talents and abilities that surprise and amaze me.

I hurt. I know it sometimes seems like I don’t understand or sympathize when you’re upset about something, but the truth is I often put on a “front” when I’m helping you work through situations because it upsets you more to see me upset. But be assured, my heart aches when you’re hurting, and I cry tears you never see.

Fair isn’t equal. I know it’s hard to understand, but treating you “fairly” as compared to your sibling and other people we’re close to doesn’t mean that everything is the same. I often tell your sibling this too. You’re both individuals, and you will be treated fairly even though everything that happens may not seem “equal” to you.

I’m here for you. And I pray I will continue to be here for you, for as long as you need me to be.

Love always,

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