Learn Your Special Education Laws, Special Education Rights, and Share IEP Goal Ideas

Dec 16
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by Dennise Goldberg

It’s a time to celebrate with family and friends and enjoy whatever holiday traditions you have come to know and love. It’s the time to hit the malls for bargain shopping and cross all those gifts off of our to-do list.  Also, with a New Year approaching many of us will make New Year’s resolutions.  Before we can make a New Year’s resolution, we have to take a moment and reflect upon the past year…..of course that would also include the subject of Parenthood.

When you look up the word “Parenthood,” one of the definitions you’ll find is “One who begets, gives birth to, or nurtures and raises a child; a father or mother.”  That particular definition seems so simple and easy.  But we all know it’s not; especially for those of us who have children with special needs.  It’s an extremely tough job and I will admit that once the reality of my son’s disabilities sunk in, I decided he needed my full attention to prepare him for life.  As a result, my son is an only child…….the funny thing is, he loves it!!  I grew up with siblings, so I thought he would miss it, but he doesn’t.

I thought having only one child would make “Parenthood” a lot easier, but I still make mistakes.  When I reflect back on this year, I wonder if I was too hard or too easy on my son in certain situations.  I try to push him to become more independent, and then I find myself back peddling.  His first semester in middle school has been quite difficult at times, but he’s improved a lot since August.  However, he’s getting older, so as a parent my job is to help him become more independent for the future.

My New Year’s resolution has not changed from last year; I still intend to help my son become more independent.  However, before the clock strikes midnight on Jan 1st, I’m going to reflect on the past year and make peace with “Parenthood,” itself.  I know I’m not perfect but I always have my son’s best interest at heart and I always will.  I think it’s time for all of us to give ourselves a break and remember even though we make mistakes.  We may not always have the right answer, but we’re doing the best job we can; trying to accomplish what “Parenthood” can be defined as “One who begets, gives birth to, or nurtures and raises a child; a father or mother.”

Yet in spite of all the difficulties in the past year, I can honestly say I also experienced much joy and happiness as a parent of a child with special needs!!

Wishing all of you much happiness in “Parenthood” for the New Year!!!!

UPDATE - I originally wrote this last week before the tragic events in Newtown, CT.  As a parent I could not imagine the pain the families of the victims are feeling.  I want to offer each and every one of them my sincere condolences.  As a nation we need to put aside our differences in this difficult time and offer our support in any way we can.

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