I bought a compression/weighted vest for Baby M that was entirely too big. It said 18 months, he’s 18 months, but he’s the size of a 6 month old. Unfortunately, I’m not the most organized and “on top of it” person, and it’s too late to return it. So I posted about it in a group in my area for special needs moms, and the sweetest lady decided to try it on her son to see if it was big enough. We ended up chatting, as all moms do, for a bit and found that we have so much in common!
It got me thinking about the community that I’m so new to and how much help I’ve already received from it. This lovely group of moms that I may otherwise have never had the chance to connect with. We need each other in this special needs community. Moms who are going through the long process to get a diagnosis need wisdom, guidance, and support from moms further in their journey. Likewise, moms who are old pro’s and know the therapists so well they know when to send birthday cards, occasionally need the newbie moms to see how far they’ve truly come.
Benefits of the Special Needs Community
We Get It
My sons’ OT and I were laughing last week about how that office is one of the only places where you can shout “HE PUT THE DUM DUM IN HIS MOUTH!” and people will cheer along with you. Your friends and family will do what they can to understand and celebrate the [sometimes very small] victories with you, but they may not really understand quite how exciting it is to hear “I love you” for the first time from your 5 year old. Special needs moms get it. We get it when you’re five minutes late, or when you always come too early to get your child settled before everyone else gets there. We get it when you love your child so much, but you don’t know what you’re going to do if they hit you one more time. We just get it.
That mom who came over? She’s borrowing the vest until she gets a new one because it won’t fit him long enough to justify buying it. I’ll get it back from her around the time Baby M is actually big enough for it, and I’m sure if I need a bigger one down the road, she may loan me one she’s not using. We share babysitting because we know how hard it is to trust anyone to take care of your child with special needs the “right way”. We share our crackers when you forget yours and your kid is melting down because they can’t possibly understand why someone else would have something they want. [That one is normally me, I always forget crackers!]
We Know Secrets
From the best therapists, to hacks for therapy items, we know things. The best part is that we all know different things, so everyone is helpful. That mom that came mentioned using a swim shirt for compression. How did I not think of that? I got to share with her that we use tights [yes, little girl tights] for Baby M’s compression needs on his legs. She had never thought of tights before. Everyone’s journey with special needs children is different, so we all bring different knowledge and experiences to bring to the table.
Do you have a special needs village?