My child has special needs. It might not be the special needs in your mind, he doesn’t have a physical disability or learning difficulties.
special needs :
(in the context of children at school) particular educational requirements resulting from learning difficulties, physical disability, or emotional and behavioral difficulties.
My child has a depressive disorder and anxiety. So, if you were to just look at him you wouldn’t be able to tell he has special needs. Which can be very difficult in situations.
It is not always easy to to identify depression in a child, as some children the predominant mood is irritability rather than sadness. The irritability associated with childhood depression may manifest as overactivity and aggressive, antisocial behavior.
My son’s biggest triggers include irritability and embarrassment. Which in either of those situations he has a very hard time controlling his emotions and they can easily become aggressive. As a parent it can be very difficult to watch and deal with; you want to comfort him, but also teach him techniques to control those emotions.
It can make it even harder when it looks like a tantrum but really it’s a meltdown that he cannot easily control. When people around him don’t know how to react and a simple laugh can be interpeted by him as someone making fun of him and he gets even more embarrassed and lashes out even more.
When another voices their opinions that when he is having a meltdown over something that he physically and emotionally can’t handle, that I should punish him. What makes that okay?!
I think the hardest part of raising a child with a mental illness, isn’t that he has special needs, it is the people around us. After time you learn your child’s cues and ways to handle your child’s specific needs. But it’s the people around you that affect how situations will turn out, will it be a stranger or maybe someone who knows your child but isn’t willing to understand and help your child.
So, I’d like to tell all the parents raising a child with a mental illness and special needs; you are strong, your children are strong. Surround yourself with people who care and aren’t toxic for you and your family!
Welcome to Voices of Special Needs Blog Hop — a monthly gathering of posts from special needs bloggers hosted by The Sensory Spectrum and The Jenny Evolution. Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about having a special needs kiddo — from Sensory Processing Disorder to ADHD, from Autism to Dyslexia! Want to join in on next month’s Voices of Special Needs Hop? Click here!