7 Things I learnt As A Special Need Parent In Last 7 Years

Happy Birthday Aarshia
 
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It’s been 7 years today! From the day when my daughter was born! From the day when I held her in my arms for the first time, hugging her like there would be no ‘tomorrow’. Not that it was of much relevance or importance to the world, but for me it was the day that would change my life forever, the birth of my daughter. The fact that she had Down syndrome was brought to my notice much later and unlike many, I wouldn’t say it didn’t change anything, it did! It made me much stronger than I ever was. From non acceptance to self advocacy, this journey taught me more in few years than what I learnt all my life.
 
Yesterday was her 7th birthday. And I can’t believe that she is the same girl I had fears for. She has grown into this independent, beautiful girl who is surprising me more than anybody else. Today she can not only talk, she can communicate, On asking what does she want for her birthday? she promptly replied with all things pink! She can read, write, use a laptop and an iPad independently and has a great sense of humour. Of course it has not been easy, but I am not complaining. Every dream was worth dreaming for and every challenge was worth taking for her and with her.
 
 
Today, if I could tell just one thing to other parents, it would be to stop worrying, and start living, have patience, faith and conviction, in yourself and in your child’s abilities. Things will materialise, new paths would be discovered and new dreams would be dreamt. Just believe and keep believing.
I would also like to share these 7 things that I learnt as a mother, woman, and as a parent in last 7 years, that have been the most challenging and rewarding years of my life.
 
 

1. Life is unpredictable and it’s better that way

I never thought I would be a parent of a girl with Down syndrome. Never thought I was cut out for this, didn’t accept it initially but since the day acceptance happened, love blossomed and soul awakened! Today I want to see more, laugh more, love more and live more. 

 

2. The world is a ‘special’ place, literally!

Till the time I had Aarshia in my life, the ‘special’ need world was meant for others but once I got in, I realised the beautiful bond, the unconditional love, of not just the kids but also of parents, advocates and the entire fraternity. I swell with pride thinking there are so many who love and care for me and my family, without us meeting them ever and I have come across such beautiful people who I would’ve never met otherwise.
 
 
 

3. ‘Belief’ is under rated

Before I was a parent of a special needs child, I didn’t understand the power of this word but now this word rule my world! My belief in my daughter has made a huge difference in her and in my life. I believe she will do and she does it. Someone said it rightly that ‘All kids need is a little help, a little hope and somebody who believes in them.’ I did the same and I am happy that I could have the courage and the conviction to look beyond her disability. Believe in your children, be that somebody and get ready to get surprised.

 
 

4. Living by hours and not years

The birth of a special need child can change your perceptions and prejudices about life. I always use to look at the bigger picture, not dwelling on tiny irrelevant details but with Aarshia in my life, I have started living by seconds, minutes and hours and I am sure this is true for all other parents too. Every simple achievement, milestone, smile, hug are so important that you live and relive in those moments without always worrying what’s going to happen 20 years down the line.
 

5. It’s Okay to Cry

Not for sympathy, but for letting the steam out. Sometimes I see Aarshia’s friends and class mates running faster, speaking clearer, getting taller and I feel weirdly emotional. I cry when I see her sleeping.  I also cry at inspirational videos of other parents and sometimes I cry for no reason. But I feel it’s Okay to cry if it makes you feel better as it does to me.

 

6. The system can and should be challenged

From the time I fought with the prejudices of those in the schools to take my daughter in the mainstream till today, I believe we all parents have become warriors for our children and why not, we have to make and pave way and challenge the system where our children are accepted equal and treated equal.
 

7. I love my life

I love the fact that my son has a sister like Aarshia and he is way more sensitive and compassionate than boys of his age. I love the fact that our family gets to meet great people who look beyond crockery, I love the fact that I have awesome friends, I love the fact that I have a wonderful man in my life who is the greatest father and I love the fact that I am living this beautiful life with my beautiful children!
 
 

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  1. Thank-you for taking the time to share!

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