A Letter to New Special Needs Parents

Listen to me. (Err… read me.) It is okay to feel overwhelmed. It is okay to not think about it sometimes. It is okay to think about it all the time. This is something that you have to grow through just as your kid does. It takes time to come to terms with “special needs.” Nothing anyone can tell you will be the magic key to getting you through it easier or faster. There will be days that suck for sure. Way more in the beginning than later. But there WILL come a time where you realize your kid’s life IS normal. She IS normal. YOU are normal. Your family is NORMAL. It took me a solid year to not think about Down syndrome every waking second of every day. It took me two years to not wake up with it being the first thing to enter my brain.  I know she HAS Down syndrome and that she will never, ever grow out of it.  But it isn’t what defines her. When I look at my kid, I see my KID, not a chromosome count.  You’ll get there.  I hope one day, the rest of the world will, too.

March 21, the 21st day of the 3rd month of the year, is internationally recognized as World Down Syndrome Day, selected to represent the triplication of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome. Down syndrome is a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement affecting approximately 1 in 800 live births. Down syndrome usually causes varying degrees of intellectual and physical disability and associated medical issues. The future for these kids has never been brighter. My daughter was diagnosed with Down syndrome the day she was born.​


She’s been a rockstar ever since.


Note: I wrote this several years ago on a whim while eating lunch one day after reading a desperate social media post from a new mom… still hits me right in the ticker.

4 thoughts on “A Letter to New Special Needs Parents

  1. I remember the minimizing, denial, grief, and cycles that came when we were first going through the assessment and testing (and diagnosis delivery) for Autism. You describe it so well. I remember the first person who assured us that, “you know what, she, you, all of you are GOING TO BE OKAY!” It made all the difference in the world. We still need reassurance from time to time, but now we’ve mostly just sunk into the joy and delight of our family.

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