Finding the New Normal – Part 1

Something brought you here – to this website and this blog. Whether you are a parent of a child with special needs, a care giver, an educator, a friend or family member – there is something you are hoping to gain from this experience.

Our intention is for people to share stories and build community. The world of parenting and working with children with special needs can be an isolating one – this rings true now more then ever. And is true for everyone right now.

No matter what your situation, we are all experiencing a major shift in our lives and are isolated from many people we care about.

I spoke to my mom the other day – who was pretty upset about what was happening – and worked hard to calm her down. Sometimes this is something I can do pretty easily – depending on my own mental state – and other times it takes a lot out of me.

The truth is there are no “easy days” right now. It is simply “hard days” and “harder days”.

There are many things difficult about this moment and it can be easy to focus on the negative. However, there are also amazing stories of hope and greatness – from the outside world and our children.

I certainly have had moments of being okay and moments of not being okay – in my personal and professional life.

I am a parent and, like many of you, have suddenly been thrown into the world of homeschooling. Whether you are working or not, this is tough.

While the homefront is challenging, I am challenged in different ways professionally.

For half of my life, I have worked with children with special needs. My level of commitment to helping ensure all our children reach their fullest potential is not fleeting.

Currently, I work exclusively with students with disabilities and their health and well being has been on the fore front of my mind since we started talking about closing our school.

I knew very well what closing school meant for students and families. This feeling of helplessness and worry could be all consuming if that was the only thing I focused on.

But there are so many other things to focus on.

Daily I see and am reminded my students are nothing short of amazing. What they are doing and the skills they are learning via Telehealth is astounding. And the way their faces light up when they see their teacher is incredible.

This astonishment has nothing to do with thinking they could not step up, but rather having no idea how any of us would step up.

Educators are stepping up in so many ways – including with videos and online classes and a true thinking outside the box mentality.

Parents have always been amazing advocates for their children and are continuing to step up with their children being home all day – whether homeschooling or not. And if you are anything like me, this has been as equally challenging as positive – or maybe the scale is tipped to one side or the other – I am not sure.

We can focus on the negative – or, as those of us with children with special needs in our lives so often do, focus on the positive – especially on the strengths and the never ending way our children surprise us.

How is your child surprising you right now? How are you surprising yourself right now? Add a comment below and share with the RF community!

Check back for part 2 of Finding the New Normal: Nothing is Too Small.

4 Responses

  1. My son has been incredibly happy with all the attention of being home with mom & dad. He has been more tolerant of things that normally he wouldn’t be. / I have surprised myself with settling into being home.

  2. Thank you for sharing you and your son’s perspective. I keep coming back to a quote I feel rings true for everyone – including our children: “At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.” Frida Kahlo.
    Whatever the challenge may be- and there are challenges – we are able to come out stronger. Even if we cannot see this strength right away. It is there – within us all.

  3. Yes – We are definitely in this together! If ever we have needed our villages – even if they look a little different – it’s now!

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