I was thinking today about the people that help us care for our children who have autism. As special needs parents we are linked by the knowledge of the demands and challenges that this role brings. We are well versed on the difficulties of sleepless nights, the unpredictable nature of our lives and supporting our children through the frustrations and challenges that they face. We are joined by the knowledge of how life can be and this can allow us to offer support and empathy to one another because we are very often living the same type of life, improvising and getting by day by day.
This led me to thinking about the special people who are willing to share our difficulties from time to time and to shoulder some of the burden and responsibility that we face each day. To take this role on for a day or two is truly to get into our shoes and to walk the walk. This support allows us as parents to have a break, recharge and to follow the other roles our lives involve ( or involved at one time!),- to be a husband , wife, partner, parent to our other children, a friend to our friends.
What inspires these wonderful people, these grans, grandads, aunts, uncles, shared carers and friends to do this? To offer this support that makes such a difference to special needs parents?
I truly hope that you are often rewarded by the joy that children with special needs are capable of bringing and of the love they are capable of showing. I hope that this is enough to inspire you to continue to help and to get you through the challenges and difficulties that we know your role involves.
I want you to know also of the gratitude and respect we parents have for you.