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True Meaning of Family – Taking Care of Yourself while Parenting a Specially-Abled Child


True Meaning of Family - Taking Care of Yourself while Parenting a Specially-Abled Child
“Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.” ― David Ogden Stiers


Raising a child involves perseverance, dedication, hard work and many more things and that is the true meaning of family. The job becomes 10 times more difficult and challenging when you have a specially-abled child. In such situations, it’s very common for parents to lose themselves while raising the child.

The true meaning of family though, is not in losing oneself in taking care and loving another member. It is in sailing together, in one boat, when no one is left behind.

So, here’s what the parents of a specially-abled child can do to make their life easier and better and hence, the life of their little ones.

Parenting a Specially-Abled Child

Ignore the Society

“You try to do the best with what you’ve got and ignore everything else. That’s why horses get blinders in horse racing. You look at the horse next to you, and you lose a step.”
― Jimmy Iovine

Man is a social animal and society is necessary for his survival. But, the society itself can become his cage. Opinions matter and are desired, but not always. You know what’s best for your child. You know what could work for him or her and you know what he or she wants in the long run. Most often the opinions and suggestions made by the people are irrelevant, useless and make you doubt your own process and decisions.

So, it is imperative for the parents to turn a deaf ear to the society as mostly, what they have to say, won’t do any good to the child. But your confidence and love may, as that is the true meaning of family.

Have Special Fun with Your Specially-Abled Child

Kids seek spending time with their parents and it is an important part of their developmental process. In case of a specially-abled child, it becomes even more important.

Children are most comfortable with their parents and feel free and safe with them. Hence, parents should spend time with them. Also, every activity doesn’t need to be a therapy session.

Having fun with your child is important as it deepens the bond between parents and the child. That’s the true meaning of family, having fun everyday, together.

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True Meaning of Family – A Tight Marriage

It is very important that the parents of a specially-abled child have a very strong and understanding relationship between them. The marriage needs to be tight and they need to be there for each other as the bond which they share becomes the true meaning of family and the base of love they provide the child.

If there is too much stress in their relationship, it affects their relationship with the child too. Thus, it becomes important for them to understand each others’ problems, emotions and situations and be there for each other.

The partners should:

    • Communicate their needs and concerns about the child and each other.
    • Respect each other’s space and alone time as the brain is occupied with too many thoughts and regular unwinding is necessary.
    • Know that each one of them is doing their best.

Take Breaks

“There is virtue in work and there’s virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.”
― Alan Cohen

The most important thing that the parents must do is take breaks. They must take some time off at regular intervals to let some steam off. It is understandable that they can’t take long vacations. But every once in a while, they should step out of the house and spend some time with each other or may even in solitude.

Taking out time for oneself is very important to process the thoughts in one’s head and act accordingly.


The true meaning of family is loving and sacrificing for each other. But, while giving, we also should understand that one can’t pour from an empty cup. We must love and take care of ourselves to fully and completely love others.

The task of raising a child is tedious and becomes more so with a specially-abled child. But, what’s not possible with love, a little for the self, a little for others.

Do you have any more suggestions for families with a specially-abled child? Do you have your own ideas about what is the true meaning of family? Share in the comment section below.



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Shraveni Vijaya

Being a literature student, words flow through my veins. As a result of this, whenever I am down, I start brimming with words and the only thing that relieves me is writing. Writing is meditation for me and the only thing I hope when someone reads my work is that, it brings as much pleasure to its reader as it does to its writer.

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