Questions Only Parents of Children with Special Needs Ask Themselves

Questions Only Parents of Children with Special Needs Ask ThemselvesSometimes, when I’m alone with my thoughts, I find myself posing questions I am sure most parents don’t ask themselves. Here is my list.

Early Days

  • Was this my fault?
  • Does God not love him?
  • Will he be a “telethon baby” – living in a hospital forever?
  • Will we be able to parent him?
  • Will he ever be able to say my name?
  • Will he ever hear me sing?
  • What more will we need to handle in his lifetime?
  • What more will he have to face in his lifetime?

Daily Life

  • Is he in pain?
  • Is he happy?
  • Will he live with us into adulthood?
  • How will we handle his aggression when he’s 14? 21? 35?
  • Will we be mentally and emotionally able to handle him as his needs increase?
  • Will I ever sleep peacefully again?
  • Will I ever not feel that inexplicable hole in my heart?


  • How will we know if he’s ok in school when he can’t tell us?
  • Will he ever learn to read and write?
  • How can we provide him with the best education based on all of his issues?


  • Will we be able to afford all the equipment he needs?
  • Will he be able to work?
  • Will we have enough financially to keep supporting him?
  • Will he have enough financially to live on without us?

General Life

  • Will people ever not look at him as broken?
  • Will he ever be independent?
  • What will “being independent” look like for him?
  • What is our role in his life?
  • What is the meaning of his life?
  • What is his purpose in this world?
  • What will his legacy be?

And beyond

  • Will family and friends continue to visit him when he’s older and no longer “cute”?
  • Will he be loved by others after we’re gone?
  • Will we outlive him?

What questions do you ask yourself that you are sure most parents don’t?

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Questions Only Parents of Children with Special Needs Ask Themselves

8 Responses

  1. Yes, these are questions we ask.

    I also ask myself questions regarding siblings.

    Are we fair toward the “normal” child?
    Will the other child be burdened when we get older?
    I can think of one couple who did choose to have a third child “so one child would not bear the whole responsibility (of a special needs sibling)”. I am sure it is only one of the reasons they did have a third child, mind you!

    The present and future interaction between the “special needs” child and the “regular” child leaves us as parents with questions which will never be fully answered.

    Of course, there are families who have more than one special needs children. I am sure they would have other questions to add to the list.

    Chantal August 1, 2014 at 11:13 pm #
    • Ah, yes. The siblings. On the one hand, we may feel relieved that a sibling will be around to one day help out, on the other hand, we may wonder how fair we’re being to that child. Such a great point, Chantal.

      Gabriella Volpe August 2, 2014 at 10:09 pm #
  2. Great post Gabriella. There always seems to be more questions than answers at times for our special needs children/adults. When my son was young, I wondered what he’d be like in his adult years. I had incredible fears. Today we are there, he’s 24 years old and it’s easier than I had envisioned in many ways. But we continue to have many questions unanswered as we begin now to take baby steps into planning and preparing for his future independent from us one day.

    Chantal, addressing the siblings and concerns you shared are very real. Thank you for that.

    Suzanne August 2, 2014 at 12:37 pm #
    • Thanks for sharing about your son, Suzanne. Its encouraging to know that sometimes, our fears are bigger than the truth. In time, we get to know our children as teens, then young adults, and we learn and adapt along the way, so maybe we don’t need to be so concerned right now. That’s a great point.

      Gabriella Volpe August 2, 2014 at 10:07 pm #
  3. Great questions. Yes, I ask so many of these. I also often ask if I’m doing all I can for him, within what he can handle and still allowing him to have a happy childhood. It’s hard. I just wrote a post linked to another special needs mom Ellen Stumbo – asking the question, What if My Child Lives with Me Forever?

    Tracy Whitt August 5, 2014 at 5:36 pm #
    • Thanks for the comment, Tracy. And, yes! There’s another one of my questions … wondering if I’m pushing him enough, or pushing too hard and ensuring that he’s happy and still allowed to be a child. That’s a great one. Thanks for adding it to the list. I will check out your post.

      Gabriella Volpe August 5, 2014 at 7:33 pm #
  4. Those are such good questions and publishing them on your blog gives other parents permission to ask them, too. Thank you for adding them to the Different Dream Tuesday link share.

    Jolene Philo August 6, 2014 at 7:48 pm #
    • Thank you, Jolene! Nice to see you here! This was a difficult post to publish because some of the questions frighten me, still. We sometimes don’t want to “go there.” However, I always find that writing down the fears makes them not as scary over time.

      Gabriella Volpe August 7, 2014 at 8:58 pm #