Reflect on Your Special Needs Child

August 1, 2013 Heiddi Zalamar, LMHC, MA

Parenting a child with mental illness brings about some anxiety. The upcoming school year helps me reflect on Bob. Much more so when the retailers are preparing for school shopping time. I'm an anxious person so I imagine Bob has a hard time dealing with me. I worry about making sure that he has everything he needs for school - supplies, review of the rules and some patience. Reflecting on your special needs child before school starts can help ease your worries.

Reflection on the past

My mother's favorite commercial when I was little was that of a father dancing through the aisles in a department store with two kids walking behind him with sad faces. The music for the commercial was "It's the most wonderful time of the year." The father is ecstatic to buy school supplies to get the kids ready for the first day of school. My mother laughed every time she watched it. I dreaded the first day of school. I still do. So I reflect.

Preparing for school for me is a challenge. I have to get everything on the school shopping list as well as his school uniform. Bob goes to my alma mater - the local catholic school. I also have to make sure that Bob has medication and knows what to do to care for himself while in school. I also worry about him and try to hold on tighter.

Reflect Often

It's like this every year. I think about the new challenges that could come up. I also think about everything Bob has been through in the previous year. I think about his missteps, his accomplishments and the ways Bob was affected. Each year that passes brings me pride in Bob's abilities and achievements. I think about the positives. This reflection also brings some dread that I may not know how to help Bob in the coming year. That the new challenges will somehow stop him from meeting his goals.

Bob is a good kid. He has his moments like all children do. But, he is also resilient. Bob has been through so much in the last few years and is still optimistic and sweet. More than anything preparing for the school year is about remembering that Bob has been through so much and done well.

Reflect on Your Child

Worrying can put a damper on how you see your child. When you reflect on your special needs child, you can think about everything. The good, the bad and the ugly can be reviewed. You can think about all of the good ideas that worked for you and the lessons you learned. All of this can help you in the coming school year. Reflect on your special needs child and focus on how amazing he or she is.

APA Reference
Zalamar, H. (2013, August 1). Reflect on Your Special Needs Child, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 30 from

Author: Heiddi Zalamar, LMHC, MA

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