Day 19: Restoring Power, Overcoming Parental Vulnerability

Welcome to day 19 of the 31 Days of Restoration: Spiritual and Emotional Support for Parents of Children with Special Needs. You can find the main page for this series here.

I never felt so powerless as the day I entered the barren room at our rehabilitation center greeted by 4 out of 6 adults I didn’t know would be there.

My baby in my arms, my mom, and six professionals who sat around asking me questions about my son that I didn’t know how to answer.

When two specialists held him down to pry his mouth open, my baby’s cries pierced through my bones. Before I knew what had happened, we were at the elevator with tears streaming down my face.

I was not upset because of the appointment itself. I was upset at how vulnerable I was made to feel by not knowing ahead of time who would be in attendance and what would transpire at the appointment.

Beyond that, I was upset I did not stand up for my helpless 9-month old who needed me to be his voice that day. I felt violated as a mother and as a human being. I felt I had just watched my son being violated. Was it OK to force a baby to be examined in that way? I was entirely frozen.

Suffice it to say that I never attended another appointment where my son and I were unprepared and unarmed.

I make sure to know ahead of time what the appointment entails, who will be there, and what is expected of us. If something arises at the appointment that I do not agree with, I speak up.

Parental empowerment is crucial when raising a child with special needs. Sometimes, we are all our child has. It doesn’t matter that specialists wear intimidating lab coats. We have a right to refuse procedures we feel are handled with lack of dignity for our child.

Affirmations for Restoring Power and Overcoming Parental Vulnerability

  • Even though I am placed in a vulnerable position before specialists, I speak up for my child when need be.
  • My child expects me to be his pillar, even if I only stand silently beside him.
  • My child expects me to fight for and with him.
  • My child’s life has worth, and I let others know.
  • I am empowered as a parent.
  • My child is empowered.
  • I am protected.
  • My child is protected.
  • No matter what, I know I will be OK.
  • No matter what, my child will be OK.
  • No matter what, it will all be OK.

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