Resources, Information, Help! That’s what I searched for far and wide after my son Erick was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation (in 1989), and Developmental Delays. The Internet was just evolving then, so I had word-of-mouth and medical professionals. I’m thankful for the resources I learned about thanks to a great Pediatrician and Social Worker at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Having help to navigate through what sometimes seemed like a massive ball of confusion greatly benefited me in securing the services it took to enhance Erick’s life.
Fast forward twenty five years, and today’s technology affords parents access to a wide range of resources. Two great resources are My Child Without Limits and BraveKids.org. Both operate under the UCP (United Cerebral Palsy) umbrella. Brave Kids recently received a $50k grant for a searchable database from the Verizon Foundation giving parents and caregivers access to a variety of resources. Of course, there are blogs like this one and Terri Mauro’s Newsletter at About Parenting > Children with Special Needs that offer words of encouragement and parenting advice and this beautiful poem she wrote:
You Are Blessed
It may feel more like a curse sometimes, but having a child with special needs brings with it abundant opportunities for grace. It slows you down and allows you to enjoy the little things — a calm quiet day, a hard-won skill, a spontaneous hug, a pleasant conversation. Where other parents are driven to find their children’s success in high grades and high scores on the playing field, you are granted the privilege of focusing on the things that really matter, teaching your children how to love and care and communicate on the most basic level. You know what’s important, and because you’re not caught up in trivialities you are able to appreciate that so much more deeply. Miracles happen every day, if you only know where to look for them.
What is the most helpful resource you have come across for your special needs child?