Monday, November 2, 2015

Ten Tips for Parents with a Special Needs Kid Written by a Person with Disabilities


 Wow! Do I have a treat for you. Meet my young adult friend, Nikki Abramson. Nikki was told by doctors (at the age of five) that she would die in her teens. Nikki is passionate about encouraging people to find hope and achieve success in their life journey. She is a Korean American adoptee who battles several rare and severe medical conditions and is overcoming many obstacles. She walks  by faith with hope each day. 
Whether you have a special needs child or not, her story, wisdom, and words are certain to bless your heart.
With faith hope and love,

Walking with the Unknown by Nikki Abramson 

Sometimes our deepest challenges are our greatest blessings. 

I never thought I would  consider my disability a blessing. However...the life experience I gained from walking with a disability as a child has shaped my view on the world and helped me to see people for who they are. 

We are people first, not the disability first.

As a young child I grew up with a rare and relatively unknown metabolic muscle condition called Mitochondria Myopathy. Mitochondria Myopathy is a muscle condition that cause lactic acid build up and tires my muscles quickly. 

As a result of this condition, I have a handicap parking sticker and a wheelchair. While in school I had other adaptations such as extra time taking tests. 

After college, I was in a car accident and developed Dystonia. Dystonia, similar to Parkinson’s, another rare neurological condition causing involuntary muscle spasms debilitated my life. I was bedridden for seven months and now am forced to work part time, only drive a few miles from my house, and rely on the help from my parents.

All I wanted was to live a normal life and be like everyone else. 

However, every day I felt different as there were many precautions I needed to take a hold of to monitor my energy level. Having a disability my whole life, I needed to learn to advocate for myself. My parents have given me tools to advocate for myself by modeling this for me as a young child in school. When they advocated for my needs I felt empowered to be like everyone else. I had an incredible care team with my parents and doctors/medical professionals who pushed me on to greatness and believed in me. It was frustrating at times when people didn’t understand what you have and you feel like you’re walking around advocating for yourself on a daily basis. 

I wish I could wear a big sign that said this is what I have especially when the disabilities I have are relatively unseen.

After 29 years of dealing with disability, I feel empowered to share with parents how to help support their child(ren) with disabilities. After all, I walk it daily.

Here are ten ways for parents with special needs kids to support their child:

1.      Pray for your child and surround yourself with a team of people that will encourage and support you. There will be tough days ahead.
2.      Be supportive. Your child needs your support. You are the best support and advocate for him (or her). Do what you can for him.
3.      Treat him just as any other child. Yes, he may have some unique needs and therefore may need some accommodations.
4.      Encourage her. Say, ‘You can do it.’
5.      Give your child tools to be able to advocate for herself.
6.      Don’t blame yourself or your child for the disability. You didn’t do anything wrong to deserve this.
7.      Accept the disability. Learn all you can about it.
8.      Take thorough notes from all doctors’ and medical care professional’s visits.
9.      Teach others about your child’s disability.
10.  Know that God will use you and your struggles to bless others. 

Having a disability is a struggle.
Parents, I urge you to be an advocate and
love your child knowing that they desire to be loved.

       As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 
His disciples asked him,
 “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus,
 “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him."
John 9:1-3 

      Nikki Abramson is the Founder of Renew Hope LLC , a teacher, leader, performer, speaker, mentor, and author of, I Choose Hope.

You can find Nikki's book  I Choose Hope on Amazon or over at Rivershore Books.
Connect with her on Linkedin , follow her on Twitter or 
follow me on Facebook


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