Thoughts Regarding Life with Several Children with Disabilities

  • When you have several people in your family, (ours has 6 at home,) put names on toothbrushes.  They are only available in so many colors…
  • Taking multiple pills is easier if they are placed in a little plastic cup.  Using a hand is not always the safest way to guarantee they will all get into the mouth. (Before I discovered this, I was finding pills here, there and everywhere, especially between the couch cushions.)
  • Keep extra pills and a bottle of water in your car in case you are delayed and a child would miss a dose.
  • Even though it might be easier, do not schedule doctor’s appointments at the same time for more than one child.  I have learned that there is a direct correlation between the difficulties to be discussed about one child with the doctor and the misbehavior of the other child.  I also usually take the child with the appointment out to eat afterwards for some “quality time”.  This seems to encourage good behavior at the doctor’s.
  • Don’t stress out over things that are unimportant in the scheme of things.  I try to clean house, but rarely have time to do a great job.  I don’t care.  I try to have a nice, family meal every night, but only succeed three or four nights a week.  I don’t care.  I try to dress my children nicely for the holidays, but they invariably pull the new clothes off to wear more comfortable ones.  I don’t care.  The house is not filthy and neither are the kids, and the kids are not starving or overweight.  My expectations are low so I am always pleased to meet them.  If I am able to exceed my expectations, I am thrilled beyond belief.
  • Find time for yourself and your significant other (if you have one.)  This relationship must be nurtured if he/she is expected to nurture the children.  Stressed out parents affect patience levels.  My children have always had a bedtime of 9:00 pm regardless of age.  They can watch tv, talk on their cell phones, read or do schoolwork, but quiet time in our house is observed at 9:00 pm.  This guarantees quiet time for the parents.
  • Take a few days off without the children.  Again, the parental relationship needs to be primary.  The statistics of divorce among families with children with disabilities is staggering.  I work hard at not being that statistic.  Going away without the children takes a great deal of planning, but the reward is a stress free weekend.  With my family, this is also costly because I need to arrange and pay for supervision for 3 separate children.  Again, it is less costly than divorce.
  • I make sure the children pick up the dog poop in the backyard BEFORE I rake the leaves.  (I didn’t do this once and boy was I sorry!!!)
  • I drive a mini-van with 4 bucket seats and a back bench seats.  This leaves 3 separate bucket seats so the children don’t have to sit directly next to each other and each one has a window seat. Rides have been quieter since I bought this car.
  • We try to live within our means financially.  No costly trips to restaurants.  No plays, concerts or other costly entertainment.  I buy clothes at 2nd hand stores and grocery store brand food. It is stressful enough worrying about the children without adding financial worry.
  • You cannot yell at a deaf child.  They will just shut their eyes and they cannot see you signing the angry words!

I find the humor and happiness in life:  watching my daughter  who is deaf in her dance class with a big grin on her face,  joking with my son who has dissociative identity disorder that he needs to check with “his people” before he makes a decision,  watching my 17 year old son with Aspergers when he is holding a wriggling snake and describing everything you’d ever want to know about it, and watching my husband cook supper with my daughter.  She used to be a very picky eater, but now she eats everything she helps cook.  Who knew?

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Comments on: "Random Thoughts on Life with Children with Disabilities" (5)

  1. Lori Salisbury said:

    You are an amazing inspiration! I have 5 kids and I feel the same way about the house…. some other people who apparently aren’t my true friends… and unfortunatly certain members of my family ( my adopted Dad) are critical of me for not keeping a spotless house.
    I just tell them don’t come over if you don’t like it, or start helping me!
    I stay home but my poor husband struggles to work as much as possible. He has 2 jobs and finds any way he can make money on the side. Therefore when he comes home, he is to tired to really help me.
    I prefer to make sure my kids are happy, fed, safe and smart then to keep a perfect house! ( eventhough it would be nice to have both 🙂
    I didn’t mean to make this about me so, I just wanted to tell you that you are AMAZING and keep up the GREAT work! You made me and I’m sure allot of others feel better about themselves!
    If you ever have a moment to talk, please call me at 954-588-2213.

    Regards and Happy Holidays!

    Lori

    • 5kidswdisabilities said:

      Thank you so much for your kind words! It is nice to know there is someone else out there who feels like I do. (I felt all alone.)

  2. That is nice to now finally find a web site where the blogger knows really well about his subject.

  3. Lindsay My gosh you have your hands full lol thanks for the comment on my blog and i am adding you to my blog and blog roll would love if you would do the same! I will be returning to your blog I can promise you that!
    how did you find my blog may i ask?

  4. Homeforthebewildered said:

    Yet again everything you say makes so much sense. The mind boggles at hope you cope with so much. I am in awe of you and thinking your are an inspiration.

    xCiara
    Mum to three boys the eldest who has SB

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