As parents, we want our children to have the best life that they can. When they have a challenge, we want to help, to make it better.
We must continually assess their needs and their progress, and accept where they are at that point — whether it’s what we want for them or not. That key skill of accepting reality is needed again and again. We discern, accept, and act to meet each child’s needs while keeping in mind other family members’ requirements. This juggling ability is important particularly when children have long-term special needs.
We will be sharing stories that stirred deep compassion and admiration in me. Alison needed to create a wide support network after she and Russell separated, leaving her with much of the parenting of their volatile child. Nolan’s marriage with Pamela ended over differences in how to parent their autistic son and took a high-conflict turn. The needs of Jeannette’s fairly low-functioning son changed as he matured, requiring determination and flexibility from those around him. From difficult starting points, facing grueling demands, the parents found a way to nurture their children’s growth and their own — and to keep going forward. These stories will help us all keep the faith.