I still remember my better half boasting about the special bond that he sealed with our son on the very 1st day of his birth. My son was a preemie by about 4 weeks and he was kept in NICU. The moment our son opened his eyes in that transparent glass box the first thing he did was to reach out his hand towards his dad which created an invisible umbilical cord between them. Quite a melodramatic and cinematic moment it might have been. Having known today that our son is a special needs child, nothing has weakened this bond, in fact it has grown stronger over the years. And Im sure this is true of many such Fathers.
Quite a bit is written about mothers and their relationships with their special child and their struggles and perseverance through adversity and even the victory they see through. But it is very often the fathers of such children who are the unsung Hero, giving it their all – additional time, providing resources and even sometimes cutting short a thriving career without asking for recognition or reward or the limelight. As I pen down my thoughts on what Fathers of such children make possible, the next few points are a testament to the indomitable spirit of the Father of a special child
They are there all the time protecting and providing in the midst of the rough patch. Surely they would have dreamt of a normal healthy child too, but when life took on a different route they didn’t walk away, but chose to hold on to the fort strongly. Life changes dramatically for such parents as time is spent more in clinics and therapy rooms than together, but they don’t complain and continue to support and stands by moms in all decisions no matter how tough they are. They continue to believe that the child will pull through which encourages the kid to be confident and socially active
Managing a special needs child is more exhaustive and emotionally draining. The stress the mother undergoes running to therapies and keeping up with the appointments is overwhelming. To add to this the constant financial strain to meet all the hospital, equipment and therapy bills, but fathers walk that extra mile by taking up additional responsibility in office or doing additional projects, giving up small pleasures of life, personal space and individual time offs. They try to ensure the child gets the best of treatment even if it drills a hole in their finances. Surely at times they too are overwhelmed by deadlines, priorities and life in general, but when they come home with a smile , it reboots the energy in the child to give his best. We cant thank Fathers enough for being the perfect role model for our children
Having so much items on the to-do list that mothers have, we hardly have time to relax and unwind. At such times fathers pitch in to take care of the kid and shoulder the responsibility by being both a father and mother. Helping the kid to become independent and assisting him during feeding, potty training and even getting him ready for school. It is the grit of walking the extra mile for the bigger purpose. Its time, we showed some gratitude towards this selflessness
A study showed that the divorce rates for parents with children with special needs is extremely high in the early years and can even go up to 80%. But those that hold on, survive the entire lifetime. Every Marriage has its nuances and subtlety that’s to be handled with deft. While managing a special need child takes most of the time, the marriage does take second place in life. Everyone feels the need to spend their time with their partners but the child does have a way to feature in all conversations. We end up talk endlessly about their success and failures and what more can be done. Its takes a big heart to keep aside our lives and prioritise our child’s needs all the time. But by planning surprise trips and vacations Fathers can and do help rekindle lost love as they find a way to keep the spark alive
We have seen so many fathers giving up when they see no appreciable developments in their child despite years of therapy and treatment. It takes grit and perseverance to hang on and even encourage us to take up new treatments. Their hope reflects in the constant search for newer treatments.
I am reminded of team Hoyt. The inspirational father-son duo (Rick and Dick Hoyt) who decided to take up the ultimate challenge even able-bodied men would shudder. The Iron Man Triathlon challenge.3.86 Km open water swim…180.25 km bicycle ride…42.2 km run. When the son who has cerebral palsy requested his Dad to run a race and prove that life can move on, no matter your disability. The father trained at age 36 for various marathons and ultimately participated even in The Iron Man contest and are in their Hall of Fame today. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Team_Hoyt
For us , you the Father, are our Iron Man in every day life
#Childwithspecialneeds , #specialchildren , #india , #Parenting , #Yesiamspecial, #parents, #Father, #Hero
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