December 5, 2013 in Infographics
You’ve had enough.
As parents of children with special needs, you are often looked upon as having the worst of the bunch. Teachers complain about attention deficit in your child during classes, passers-by on the street gaze at you with a mixture of sympathy and fear of a diagnosis they know little of, family members giving cordial greetings when you attend gatherings and yet still do not quite know how to interact with your child.
But you’re sick of all that.
What most people don’t realize, is that all you want to do is to scream to the world, “I love my child and I am proud of him, I do not care if he has special needs or not!”
We know you are sick and tired of the harshness of this world, so here we are to agree with you and let everyone know what the top five best things about parenting a special needs child is:
There is so much more joy in parenting a special needs child than other children because the happiness that a special needs child exudes is infectious.
Amanda Belcher, mother of Maggie who was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy when she was 17 months old, praises Maggie because she can “smile and laugh, she has a sense of humor and she loves to laugh at things.”
When your child smiles even though you know that he/she tries harder than others to achieve certain functions in life, it’s the most heartwarming thing in the world.
Amanda Belcher (right) sees her daughter Maggie (diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy when she was 17 months old) as gifted and loveable as her other children without Cerebral Palsy.
Each child is born differently, and as most parents would agree, special needs childrens’ diagnoses give them a unique character that no other child could match.
Belcher says, “When I see Maggie I do not see her diagnosis, I see her as herself and the diagnosis is only a part of who she is, but I recognize that she is still more than just that.”
Realizing each child’s gifts and talents is the most rewarding feeling because you begin to understand how each person can contribute to the world in his/her own unique way.
You begin to realize how much you can love a person.
Your children with special needs are not burdens. In fact, they are far from being difficult. They are your most precious jewels.
The process might be stretching but through it you realize your capacity to truly embrace and appreciate someone for who they really are.
Belcher states that, “My husband and I believe in molding our children to become valuable members of society. Our goal is to guide them towards a loving path, to teach them to love other people and to love God.”
Through taking care of a special needs child, you begin to appreciate all the support you receive from all directions. Family, friends and even social workers all chime in and provide encouragement or care in some way. This support becomes so valuable that you start to recognize what ‘no man is an island’ means.
You begin to let go of pride, ego and self-sufficiency, and start to open up for the people around you to show you love and be your source of strength.
5. The Miracle of Life
As clichéd as this might sound, many parents would agree that it is through caring for a child with special needs that they begin to get a glimpse of what a miracle it is to be given the gift of life.
Seeing their child achieve one after another milestone is extremely encouraging. To learn to not hold back their child from certain circumstances because they want their child to become more enabled is a hugely enriching process.
Belcher admits, “I only want Maggie to be held back by her own choice, not by circumstances. She is such a blessing to me and I am just amazed at how she just loves people and is so welcoming. I want to guide her to achieve the best of her abilities. God gives you strength.”
Maggie Belcher has been “accomplishing amazing things”, according to her mother Amanda Belcher, she can roll, sit and crawl properly after enrolling into a functional education program.
We hope you were encouraged by this list whether you are a parent or not. Leave your COMMENTS below and please SHARE this article if you liked it!
Salmon has always been my absolute favorite to serve because it is easy to make, highly nutritious and just tastes so guilt-free and good. I have added a little twist to the usual pan-fried salmon by mixing a few of my favorite vegetables together. Without further ado, here’s my recipe of a colourful, wonderful version of the salmon filet!
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
- 4-5 pieces of boneless salmon filet
- 2 red onions
- 4 assorted coloured bell peppers (red/orange/yellow)
- 4 tomatoes
- 1 bunch of fresh parsley
- 6 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- salt (as desired)
- pepper (as desired)
- chili peppers (optional)
Yields: 4-5 servings
- Wash salmon pieces and put aside. Cut garlic cloves into quarters, slice onions and tomatoes in circles, cut the peppers into strips and chop the parsley and coriander finely.
- In a 14-inch frying pan, drizzle on the oil, paprika, salt and pepper and place over high heat.
- When the oil starts boiling, reduce to medium heat, layer half of the sliced tomatoes onto the pan and then layer half of the onion circles on top. Place half of the peppers over the onions and sprinkle the parsley and coriander over the vegetables.
- On top of the layers place the salmon pieces and season with salt, pepper and paprika.
- Place the remaining peppers, onions and tomatoes over the salmon. When the oil starts to dry out, add one-eighth of a cup to a quarter of a cup of water. Cook uncovered on medium heat while monitoring. Serve after approximately 25 minutes.
Salmon is widely known for being nutritious because of its omega-3 fatty acid. This acid is so sought after because it is associated with decreasing the risk of heart attacks, stroke and high blood pressure. It is also considered to improve moods and nourish the eyes.What’s more, studies show that when omega-3 fish are consumed at least once a week, risk of colorectal cancer, prostate cancer and breast cancer drops.
Red onions contain quercetin, which have been found to fight cancer, bacteria and fungi. It also helps regulate blood sugar and insulin levels, which slows down aging, lowers blood pressure and improves cholesterol levels.
Bell peppers are an antioxidant-rich food that improves eye health, they also help reduce stress and risks of gastric cancer and esophageal cancer.
Beta-carotene in tomatoes helps protect skin against sun damage, lycopene in the fruit also makes skin less sensitive to UV light damage, which means that it prevents against wrinkles forming. Tomatoes provide chromium, which helps to keep blood sugar levels healthy.
Did you like this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Do you have requests for making a certain type of food? Let me know in the COMMENTS below and I’ll try my best to create a recipe for you
Fall time Family Fun
With the winter months quickly approaching, parents should take advantage of the few balmy fall days we have left by getting up, going outside, and staying active. When the temperatures begin to drop, it will become more and more difficult to ensure that your family is leading a healthy and active lifestyle, here are some tips to help you and your family beat the cold!
Going to pick apples at your local orchard is an age-old tradition and a great way to keep your family active in the fall. The apples are often just the beginning of your trip to the orchard. When planning your trip, be sure to research orchards that offer various activities such as horse rides, corn mazes, a petting zoo, or pumpkin carving. By targeting orchards that offer more than one activity, you are able to keep your family entertained and outside of the house for an entire day (as opposed to only a few hours!). The best part of apple picking comes a few days after, when you make delicious and healthy treats from the fresh apples. If your family got carried away and picked too many apples, try preserving them in a delicious homemade applesauce.
One of the most remarkable things about fall is the changing of the leaves. As green foliage becomes bright orange and red, this natural occurrence gives you the opportunity to incorporate physical activity and hard work into your child’s everyday life. There are few children that do not enjoy playing in a huge pile of leaves. Assist your child with the task of raking up the fallen leaves, and then allow them to have the time of their lives playing with nature. Most parents would simply rake the leaves themselves, but including your child in the process teaches them a valuable lesson about hard work and its rewards. Plus, all that raking also doubles as a surprisingly hard work out! If your child does not enjoy jumping in piles of leaves, try taking them hiking in a national park to witness all the fall beauty first-hand.
Much like apple picking, scavenger hunts are one of those things that children will always enjoy. Give this thrilling activity an autumn edge by having the scavengers search for fall items such as pinecones or a specific kind of fallen leaf. The thrill of searching for each clue and winning the grand prize will have your children up, active, and having fun the entire time.
City of Toronto – Parks and Trails
Parks Canada – Find a National Park
Pick Your Own – List of farms and orchards