#MomChronicles: I Still Struggle w/Parenting a Special Needs Child

On this blog I have recorded hundreds of thoughts about every topic you can think of. That’s why when my son was diagnosed with ADHD & Tourette’s Syndrome I couldn’t think of a better place to share my thoughts.

If you’d like to catch up on those articles you can click here, here and here.

If you want to know how we’re doing, keep reading.

I Still Feel Like I Don’t Have the Tools

Sounds absurd right? Especially since we’ve been dealing with this for a few  years now. However, as my son grows, his symptoms have changed and in some ways gotten worse. And we still have to account for all the typical behavioral challenges that just come with being a kid.

When I look at my son I am overwhelmed by how much admiration I have for the kid! Despite being atypical or neurodivergent; he manages to just blow me away with how he excels regardless.

A young African American boy, medium brown complexion, standing in front of a black sparkly backdrop, holding an elmentary school diploma that reads "Celebration Certificate 2019". The boy is grinning.
Jelani holding his graduation award from this past May 2019.

Even though I know my kid is brilliant, I can’t help but feel like I haven’t mastered how to help him with things like organization and social cues. Those are big components of both his disorders that could use some fine tuning, but as a mom I feel like I’m not equipped!

I do the research, I discuss it with my husband, then I try to implement them; but things don’t always go as planned. When it doesn’t, I know I’m internalizing, and it makes me feel like I’m falling short event though I know that’s not the case.

People Still Stare

I remember when my son first started ticking, and it took some adjusting  to get used to the random sounds and movements he would make. Knowing that it took us awhile to get used to it and we STILL have to adjust when a new tic comes; I can understand how it must be strange to people not in our family.

It just burns my butt that after the first initial glance, they continue to stare. Like, COME ON! I know it’s weird but is there nothing that clicks in your brain that makes you think: “I probably shouldn’t be staring.”

This has made my anxiety rise when we’re in public places like the movies (which he loves by the way) and puts me on the offensive because I’m prepared to go into mama bear mode.

His Disorganization Drives Me Nuts

If you’re a mama with a child who is messy; than you already know how this can frazzle your last nerve! I have tried everything to help him stay organized, but unless I or his father stand over him and micro manage (which sometimes we do); the mess can get out of pocket!

I don’t have the energy that I used to since I’m dealing with exhausting illnesses. I used to be able to flit around the house cleaning everything with a source of energy that was arguably close to an illegal upper.

Not anymore though.

I just assumed that as he got older he would get the hang of it. As of right now, that has not been the case. I hate feeling like a helicopter mom when it comes to chores and keeping his bedroom clean and book bag organized. Unfortunately for now, that’s what it’s gonna have to be.

The Upside of Things

While I find myself frustrated, emotional, scared and a bunch of other things at any given moment; the reality is I love who my son is as he is.

I don’t want to change him.

I think what makes this kid unique and brilliant are the very things that we are trying to learn how to deal with.

He is teaching me things about myself as I am learning the very complex layers of who he is. If you ever want to learn resiliency, watch a child with special needs navigate in this world.

My son is this bright kid who can recite random facts on the whim, he’s uber creative with an imagination to boot and is an AVID reader. Seriously, this kid reads so much he’s going to turn into a book! How amazing is it that I get to watch him thrive academically when according to most school systems the odds are stacked against him. Thank God he’s in a great school designed for his needs!

In Conclusion

Parenting is hard. I’m sure if you’re a parent that absolutely goes without saying. I used to feel guilty for my weak moments of not meeting some made up expectation. Not anymore though.

I’m allowed to be frustrated and even vent those frustrations and so are YOU. But once I’ve vented, I’m going to continue to do the best that I can to nurture and nourish this boy into the amazing adult I know he’s bound to be. Don’t give up mamas (and dads)! We’ve got this!

African American mother and son medium brown. Woman is standing to the left with her arm around her son. He is wearing thin framed glasses with a grin on his face. He is wearing a black shirt and khaki shorts with black sneakers. The mother has on blue tinted shades and a black loose flowy romper with a purple and pink floral pattern. She is smiling.

Until Next Time,

AP Young signature with kiss print.