Let It Go

You’ll find that once you have a child with special needs, that everyone has an opinion. They haven’t read a single sentence about your child’s condition, and yet they’ll spew forth all sorts of advice like they wrote the book on it. Some of these self-proclaimed “experts” on your child will be strangers. And some will be family or friends. A few will offer advice that is genuinely helpful. Most will offer advice that is well-meaning, but doesn’t reflect an actual understanding of the issues you are dealing with. Some will tell you outright that you’re doing it wrong.

But as a parent of a child with special needs, here’s what you can never forget: you are the expert on your child. You know your child best. No one has spent more time worrying, asking questions, talking to doctors, researching conditions, pouring through books, and devouring every article, program, supplement, product and theory that could potentially improve your child’s life, than you. It’s easy for outsiders to spout uninformed ideas and insist that they’re right. But they don’t know the realities of your situation, or the challenges you face day in and day out. And they don’t have to live with the consequences of acting on misguided information, from people who don’t know a thing about your situation, like you and your child do.

So do what needs to be done. Don’t think twice about what others may think. Let them stare. Let them question you. Let them say stupid things and think they are right. Sever relationships if you have to. Because this isn’t a democracy, or a popularity contest. And you aren’t doing it wrong just because other people make you feel like you are. Your child’s life is in your hands. Trust yourself. Trust your gut. And let go of what everyone else has to say. ©


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