5 Steps to Empowered Special Needs Parenting

Very few things will ever change your life as profoundly as having a child with special needs. Nothing prepares you for it because everything you ever imagined about parenting becomes useless.


When my oldest son was diagnosed with autism, it felt like I had entered a new world. I knew very little about autism back then. Growing up in Zimbabwe I had never even heard autism being mentioned; there are no words for autism in the three African languages that I speak.   Even though I had since lived in two other continents a long way from Africa, I still didn’t know a single person with autism. I had watched Rainman but could barely even remember that.


With my son’s diagnosis, I had entered a world with it’s own language, new words and multiple acronyms that meant nothing to me.  I felt lost and overwhelmed.  I had to defer to strangers, the “experts” who could explain my son’s autism to me.  As wonderful and supportive as they were, I didn’t want to be completely dependent on them. I longed to be confident in my abilities to  be a mother to my son who just now happened to have autism.


These 5 steps gave me my confidence back:

  1. I got informed
  2. I got support
  3. I focused on taking care of myself
  4. I taught my son life skills
  5. I embraced our new reality


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