Being Tough For Your Kids

(Disclosure: I am proud to be working with Brawny® on a series of sponsored posts as they inspire people to be “Tough to the Core.”)

When I had children I did all the obligatory mom things I had in my head that I was supposed to do. I read numerous parenting books, baby proofed our home, joined mommy and me groups to socialize my kids, filled the closet with tiny little outfits and basically tried everything to be a “good” mom.

The only thing I didn’t do was prepare myself to take the journey as a mom of kids who have special needs. When the boys were three and two I decided to swallow my pride and took them to the Doctor to share some concerns I had. When the Pediatrician dismissed me, I pushed because I knew, I knew, something was not right. I told him I wanted referrals and I had both boys tested through Early Intervention. With delays found in multiple areas, both boys were accepted and given speech, occupational and developmental therapies. I then pursued diagnosis with my youngest and it turns out my mother’s intuition was right. There was something going on and it was called Autism. A hard diagnosis to accept but suddenly it all made sense.

Just like there is no manual for parenting, there isn’t a step by step guide to raising children with special needs. In many ways it is harder because even once you have a diagnosis for your child, that gives you an idea of what to look into but not every child with the diagnosis is the same. Even Lucas, who has Autism, is on a spectrum. Some children with ASD are non-verbal and some can express themselves verbally. Some children I can identify as having Autism just by their outward behavior and some, like my son, you wouldn’t be able to notice the Autistic traits of until you were around them.

Once we were on the special needs path there were a variety of obstacles in our way. Hours of therapy each week that interfered with work, six month wait lists to get an appointment to see the developmental pediatrician and meeting after meeting with the public school system to get services my children deserved. I did everything I could to help my boys catch up to their peers and ensure that, once in school, they’d be able to learn and grow.

Sometimes you are tough because you have to be. Special needs parents have to be tough for their kids because we are their advocates and {sometimes} the only ones that will be looking out for their best interests.

Brawny® Paper Towels and Wipes have always stood for good old-fashioned toughness and that’s why Brawny® wants to share the inspiring stories to those everyday heroes out there – the folks who truly define what tough is.

Want more information on how to be tough to the core? Check out the inspiration video series featuring Everyday Heroes from Brawny®: http://www.brawny.com/tough-to-the-core

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