"Normal Children" vs. Children with Special Needs.

Navy - posted on 08/09/2012 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Hey, gals/guys(?)

So I've been struggling with this problem of mine ever since my daughter was born. Short of not chewing her food properly and choking when she was younger (she's almost three now), she's been a perfect angel. No problems, no major health concerns or problems as of yet, nothing.

My problem is this, though; I have family members with Special Needs children. They won't talk to me about them or their problems, and these are close family members. They won't open up to me, or tell me how anyone is doing. I never even knew some of my nieces and nephews were Special Needs until I accidentally "bragged" about my child and how well she was doing with her milestones. I was pretty much told I was being rude and throwing it in their face, when that wasn't my intention at all. I want to be a part of all of their lives, but I feel as if they see me as...I don't really know, to be honest.

I can't talk to them about my daughter. They won't talk to me about their kids. I know there is a huge difference in the needs and care but I don't want to be shunned just because I had a happy and healthy little girl. It truly hurts my feelings that they've shut me out of their life so much because of this boundary. I am blessed to have had such a healthy child, but they make me feel as if I did something wrong. Or don't deserve it in some way.

My relationship with those family members has only worsened over time, so I'm not sure that I want to be a part of that anymore. They tend to make me feel unimportant and childish. Am I being something I don't mean to be? Or are they just sensitive to the issue? Has anyone else experienced this? Please feel free to give insight into the issue.

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Cherish - posted on 08/09/2012

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Anne,
I find it hard to talk to people that only have "typical" children.Sometimes it hurts my feelings to hear about how "well" people's toddlers are doing,how they can do more things than my 10 year old.
But if they are close family members they should be able to tell you how they feel...I am sure they are not trying to make you feel bad,or un important.
Most parents of special needs kids are probably a touch over sensitive about it.
It's kind of like how people that do not have children do not want to hear about kids all the time.Maybe they just feel like they can not relate to you....
@Denikka-I do not think that having a child that is "lacking",causes insecurities,and to be honest saying "they ended up with a child that has problems",makes it sound,like somehow they are defective,which they are not...You clearly do not understand what it is like.

Denikka - posted on 08/09/2012

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I think that if you can't talk about your daughter at ALL to these family members, then they are the ones being childish.
That's like being unable to announce a pregnancy to your family members because one of them had a miscarriage 4 years ago.
Or not being able to talk about your child being in sports because one of their children was overweight and couldn't participate. Or was missing a limb. Or wasn't interested in participating.

You have every right to be proud of your child and her accomplishments. And you should be able to share those accomplishments with your family. And they should be able to share their children's accomplishments with you. Even though they are special needs and are not going to develop along the same line as your daughter or a *normal* child, they are still going to develop and they are still going to accomplish their own milestones.
It may be painful for them to be faced with any kind of comparison to a normal child where their child is lacking. But honestly, that's their insecurities and their problem.
As long as you aren't bragging (my child is sooo smart and advanced!! She already walking at only 7 months. She's soooo fantastic..blah blah blah) and are just sharing information (daughter walked for the first time the other day. 3 whole steps!) then you are doing nothing wrong.
A parent has every right to show pride in their child. You should not be made to feel bad or that you did something wrong just because you ended up with a healthy baby and they ended up with a child who has problems.

Michelle - posted on 08/09/2012

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I have both a special needs and what is deemed normal child. First off some parents feel as if they are being judged when you talk about milestones especially if their little one hasn't hit it yet. Prime example my niece is exactly 3 weeks younger than my daughter so of course my daughter hits most of her milestones first. Her mom gets very defensive about this if I say anything even though usually about 3 weeks later her daughter hits the same milestone. They feel like you are calling them a bad parent. When in reality you are just a proud mommy. There is nothing wrong with being proud of your baby, but if these people don't want to hear about it then don't talk to them about it, talk to grandma about your daughters achievements or to others who will be proud right along side you and ignore the others.

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Denikka - posted on 08/11/2012

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You're right Cherish, I don't know what it's like to have a special needs child.

What I meant when I said:
It may be painful for them to be faced with any kind of comparison to a normal child where their child is lacking
I meant it in the way that they may lack (or not have) certain skills that a normal child would have. No different than a child may lack artistic or musical or sports talent. When comparing two children, one who is athletic and one who isn't, the one who isn't athletic is lacking that skill. They may excel at other things, but when compared in that particular category, they will be found to be lacking.

If a person cannot even stand to talk about or hear about their close family talking about a normal child when their child is special needs, I would say that it is a problem. I would place in in the category of having insecurities. I would feel the same about the example I used above. If the parent of a child who is not athletic cannot even stand to hear about another child participating in sports, I would say that the parent is insecure about their childs lack of skill in that area.
Every parent should focus on their child and know where their childrens strengths and weaknesses are. You should not be threatened or upset by the mere mention that another child can do something that your child cannot.

I did not mean to imply that I thought that special needs children were *defective*, although that's your word, not mine. As mentioned before, I look at it as no different, in the particular respect, to a child who ended up with no athletic talent, or ended up with no artistic talent or whatever else.
Each child IS special and has their own strengths and weaknesses and every parent should be proud of their child when they accomplish things. Whether it's sooner or later than the *norm* is irrelevant. A parent should be able to go to their close family and be able to share those accomplishments and should not feel rejected because their child did something another family members child cannot so, did not do at that age, or doesn't do.
You said it yourself. Parents of special needs kids are probably a touch over sensitive about it. I think you read into things in my previous post that were not intended. I never meant to belittle or insult in any way shape or form, so I hope that this post makes my meaning slightly more clear.

OP, I hope you can resolve things with your family. :)

Navy - posted on 08/09/2012

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Yeah, I understand. I suppose I would feel the same. I just hate that it has to be that way. I miss having the close relationships with those family members but oh well. I do enjoy sharing my daughters achievements with my husbands side of the family. They are more understanding and uplifting, sadly, but thankfully.

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