Being the parent of a child with a disability can be isolating. Even parents with the most outgoing personalities have a hard time making and keeping friends or maintaining a decent social calendar.
The busy schedule of medications, doctor appointments, and therapies can make having a social life almost impossible. Many times we can’t find a babysitter or leave our child with one. Our lives seem so different than the lives of others around us—which makes it difficult to relate to them. Their stories are worlds away from what we are experiencing every day. Will they even want to hear our stories? The risk of evoking pity or of being hailed as a hero just isn’t worth it. And to attempt to explain the details of our lives is exhausting.
Sometimes a parent just needs to hang out with other like-minded parents. Being understood by other families like our own is like a peaceful island: nothing to prove, apologize for, nothing being condemned or glorified. Just telling our stories, living our lives and loving our kids with others who understand and relate, is a welcome and unusual gift.
Families can take advantage of meeting others who can relate at several events this summer. Dallas Museum of Art puts on Autism Awareness Family Celebrations. Taking the time and effort to meet parents who live similar lives may prove helpful for making some close friendships. I encourage you to connect with other families. Thankfully it is not usually difficult to find a group or event in our area. Search for more events on our Find Services, Groups and Events page.
After my daughter passed away, I also lost my own identity and purpose in life. How do you go forward from there?
To advocate for our children, we must be informed and active in the decision-making processes—from local to state to national concerns. There are tools to assist in finding helpful resources.