Friday, April 6, 2012

Left out; the challenge of parenting your special needs child, while also meeting the needs of your typical children

We are about to embark on baseball season for my soon to be 7 year old typical son. It is an exciting time of year. The weather is getting warmer. I can already hear the crack of baseballs being hit in our neighborhood ball field, as players practice for the start of the season.

Last year was a great first T-ball experience for my son. He had a great coach, and really sweet teammates with helpful parents. Everything went very well, except for one thing. I was unable to attend all of the games, and made it to only almost half of them. Was I working? Was I sick? Nope and nope. I was home with my two children who have autism. I was the "designated" parent who needed to care for my children who are unable to sit in the bleachers and watch their brother.

It really killed me. I so wanted to always be there cheering for my son and his team. I always envisioned being the kind of parent who tried to never miss a thing. In reality, I miss quite a bit. If it were not for my parents who live close by, I might not have even made it to those games. We actually trade off going to the games, my parents and I, alternating who goes to which game, and who stays home with E and M.

Recently, I was at a birthday party with my typical son. I was talking with a few moms when one parent introduced me to another parent I actually knew, as our son's were on the same team last year. I said so to her, to which she replied, "Oh yes, I remember you now, but you were not at many games last year." My heart sank, if only she knew why.

I didn't have the courage to speak up. I really wanted to shout, "You don't know how lucky you are!" "Don't you dare judge me, you've no idea what sacrifices I make." I wish I would have said something now. People need to be aware of our situation. I certainly don't want pity, but a bit of understanding would be quite helpful. I place enough guilt on myself without allowing others to heep on more. Next time, I will be ready with a thoughtful response. Who knows if they will actually have any understanding, but it is my duty to myself and my children, to at least try.

I am excited for this year's season to get underway. The hubby is coaching this year, and I can't wait to watch father and son out there working together. I just can't help but wish somehow it could be an entire family affair. Maybe one day it can be. If not, I am determined to keep on enjoying as much of it as I can.


  1. We have the same issues at our house: two typical boys and one son with Smith-Magenis Syndrome. Baseball practice is Thursday night, so I'm thinking of what "surprise" I can have in the van (new dvd for the portable player?) so I can at least sit in the parking lot.

    Let me know when you have that thoughtful response 'cause I'm going to steal it! :)

  2. I have considered sitting in the parking lot as well! Taking the IPads and snacks along and hoping for the best. I checked out your blog by the way. Wow. I will be stopping by again. Your writing is awesome, I could learn quite a bit from you. Thanks so much for commenting.

  3. Hi Lisa! I am so sorry I am posting this here I look all over for an email address for you. I saw from Mary Barbera's blog that you are doing VBA with your daughter. I was just wondering how it was going for you? I just started with my son and I am having a really difficult time with it. I would to know your thoughts on it. Here is my email Thanks again!
    Allyson Crozier