bear plush toy on rock enjoying the mountain view

100 Amazing Benefits Of Being A Parent Of A Child With Disabilities

two brown bear plush toys on white surface Learning to take life as it comes
  1. Handicap sticker (whether we can get a parking spot is another story)
  2. Wheelchairs can carry a lot, especially if no one is in them!
  3. The questions from curious kids
  4. Educating people about disabilities
  5. Conferences for our genetic syndrome
  6. Virtual doctor visits!  LOVE THEM!
  7. Research studies – important work (and sometimes they pay well 😉 )
  8. Meeting other parents who just get it
  9. Being able to “one up” any story a parent of neurotypical kids can tell
  10. Having caregivers to help out
  11. Having the superpower to memorize entire sections of someone else’s medical record
  12. Camping in ADA sites – who else takes kids with disabilities camping?
  13. Their equipment can be used for grandma & grandpa
  14. Their smiles
  15. Making them laugh
  16. Becoming organized for the first time in my life
  17. Using a paper planner, digital planner, and Google calendar to keep my life straight
  18. Raising neurotypical kids that don’t have to be taught how to interact with disabled kids
  19. Admitting I can’t do it all and accepting help when offered
  20. Having a ready-made excuse if I am late – no one expects me to be on time
  21. Not having to turn down invitations, no one offers them anymore – a good and a bad thing
  22. Having to work from home – can be a good and bad thing
  23. Learning more about insurance companies than you ever thought possible
  24. Wheelchair van life
  25. Being connected to services that can help pay for things that I can’t
  26. Having  a reason to finally put together bug-out bags
  27. Having forced downtime
  28. Learning to slow down, in thought, word and deed.
  29. Being able to drink caffeine 24/7 and no one thinks that’s wrong
  30. Learning to appreciate the little things
  31. Becoming an advocate for my son and speaking his truths
  32. Watching the sunrise every morning whether I want to or not
  33. Not having to dress up
  34. Not having to impress anyone but my kids
  35. National Park access pass
  36. Access passes at amusement parks
  37. Not having to cook for a teenager
  38. Buying toddler toys for a teenager
  39. Having an excuse to watch kids’ shows
  40. Having a Make-A-Wish granted
  41. Learning patience
  42. Learning person-first language and sharing that knowledge
  43. Learning all about inclusion and accessibility
  44. Homeschooling
  45. Child-led goals and expectations
  46. Becoming our family’s IT tech
  47. Online research
  48. Meeting other families like mine
  49. Meeting other families that experience the same genetic diagnosis
  50. Connecting other families to resources and information that no one shared with me
  51. Making peace with neurotypical families and learning to not compare their applies with my oranges
  52. Being able to take on more than I ever thought I could
  53. Listening to 80s heavy metal music more than I ever did in the 80s
  54. Learning how to be an ICU nurse without having to go to school (OJT!)
  55. No longer being grossed out by blood, pee, poop, vomit, or any other bodily fluids
  56. Ability to talk in great detail about blood, pee, poop, vomit, or other bodily fluids without a second thought
  57. Wearing blood, pee, poop, vomit, and other bodily fluids and thinking nothing of it
  58. Becoming a Jack Of All Trades
  59. Master of DIY
  60. Finally understanding the joy of duct tape!
  61. Having to think outside the box at all times
  62. Learning to laugh and joke in all situations
  63. Learning to not take life so seriously
  64. To know that most people won’t get us, and be alright with that
  65. Valuing the relationships that have stood by me through thick and thin
  66. The ability to cook a 30-minute meal in 3 hours
  67. Understanding that a diagnosis does not make the person
  68. Disabilities are not inabilities
  69. Understanding that behavior is communication
  70. Not everyone communicates in the same way
  71. Being comfortable in talking to and working with people of all types of disabilities
  72. The ability to pack for a 5-day hospital stay in under 15 minutes
  73. The ability to live out of a backpack for 5 days
  74. Getting to train nurses – who knew that was part of the job!
  75. Learning the importance of keywords when talking to doctors and insurance companies
  76. Naps
  77. Being able to fall asleep instantly
  78. Being able to fall asleep anywhere
  79. The ability to stay awake for days on end thanks to hypervigilance
  80. Knowing I can, and have, kept my child alive while waiting for paramedics to show up
  81. To know I can, and have, function in life and death situations
  82. Brushing up on my time management & secretarial skills
  83. Learning project management skills
  84. Becoming assertive and not afraid to speak up to professionals
  85. Firing doctors
  86. Finally, understanding doctors are humans too, not gods with mystical knowledge
  87. To (sometimes) have perpetual newborns.
  88. To have a framed poop chart on your kids’ bedroom wall…and that’s considered normal
  89. Not caring what people think about how I parent, dress, or talk to my kids
  90. Having a built-in litmus test to see who are your true friends and what family is worth keeping
  91. The exercise you get lifting a 100+ lb kid in and out of a wheelchair and pushing them up  inclines
  92. The exercise you get chasing a runaway wheelchair down a ramp
  93. The creative cuss words you get to use when an ‘accessible’ event isn’t accessible to wheelchairs
  94. Mom-hair and don’t care
  95. Leggings and sweats are an expected part of my uniform
  96. Fuzzy bunny slippers
  97. An excuse to not do housework every day
  98. Having to change outfits multiple times a day – who doesn’t love to play dress up??
  99. 3:00 am dance parties! 
  100. The glam lifestyle – not!


Other posts you may enjoy:
Balancing Medical Treatment With Quality Of Life
Tips To Prepare For Your Emergency Room Visit

Other information:
20 Things Every Parent of Kids with Special Needs Should Hear –

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  1. Wonderful post and very helpful for understanding. #69 and 70 are brilliant.

    1. Thank you! I wish more people understood #69 & 70 because it can change the way you view situations

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