What It's Like Having a Child with Special Needs: Part 2


A month or so ago I asked parents on Facebook if they would like to share their story of raising a child with special needs. I had several wonderful parents respond. You can read last week's post HERE.

I'm excited to share another story with you!


My hope is that Malia's story will:

ONE, encourage you as a parent who has a child with special needs...

Or TWO (if you don't have a child with special needs), enlighten you a bit on what it is like to have a child with special needs, both the trials and joys.

I hope to bridge the divide and increase a sense of support through this parent interview series.

I hope to bridge the divide and increase a sense of support through this parent interview series.

So here we go!

Malia was kind enough to share her special needs journey with me and you! She is an AWESOME hard-working mom and fierce advocate for her daughter, Gracie!

Here's her beautiful family


Tell me a little about your family?

We are a family of 3; mom, Dad and Gracie. And our amazing service dog, Stella. Gracie is beating CP, epilepsy, and ADHD. She is absolutely a miracle – born at 25 weeks 6 days.

What are the biggest challenges you've experienced as a parent with a child who has special needs?

I think the biggest challenges as a special mom has been balancing careers with the overwhelming number of doctors, therapy, etc. appointments, as well as the emergencies that surface more than for the average kiddo, and still maintain a full life with family engagements, friendships, etc I know all parents are overworked and tired all the time, but being a special needs mom means my child may never grow out of the phase where close supervision is needed.

Being a special needs mom means my child may never grow out of the phase where close supervision is needed.

Making time matter, making the most of every minute – that’s the biggest challenge!


What have been the biggest successes you've experienced?

I feel like my biggest success is being able to support other moms coming into the special needs world when I was struggling. I seem to be a connector with friends and family, and within my work position, to have the knowledge about lots of therapies and doctors, etc and support others going through the struggle. It makes me feel like there’s more purpose in wading through the difficult times if you can make the journey a bit easier for the next person.

It makes me feel like there’s more purpose in wading through the difficult times if you can make the journey a bit easier for the next person.


What would you like people to know who don't have a child with special needs?

I think it’s hard to enlighten those not touched by the special needs world. You simply can’t understand what great love and courage comes from watching your child struggle with things no one should ever have to… it’s not explainable in words, it must be felt.

It’s not explainable in words, it must be felt.

Do you have any encouragement or words of wisdom for parents who have a child who has special needs?

Just love your child and respect them for the unique person they are. The hardest part is allowing them to grow through the struggles and not get in their way by making things easier for them. I think with any child, special needs or not, we as parents want to fix or help all we can, when what we need is to support and guide from the sidelines while they learn how to manage the world around them.

What we need is to support and guide from the sidelines while they learn how to manage the world around them.

It’s so hard to step back and not catch them every time they fall, but help teach them how to get back up EVERY time!


Thanks so much to Malia for sharing your story and your wisdom!!! I love the perspective you brought to the table and know it will help others to hear your words!

Be sure to check out our other parents' stories for more encouragement and great insights!

Lesley's Story

Michelle's Story

PS- Anderson Music Therapy is starting an online parent support group this summer! If you'd like to learn more or join us, check out the details below. :)


PPS- We have several music therapy groups this summer and registration ends June 5! So be sure to check them out.

See you soon!

~ Noel


#specialneeds #family #support #supportgroup #ADHD #summer #social #community #cerebralpalsy

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