Autism, Friendship, Motherhood, Parenting, Special Needs

3 Ways to “Help” a Special Needs Mom

Moms navigating life with a child who calls for her attention every moment of the day need encouragement. Below are three practical ways. The most important one is missing from the list but is very much implied. Be a friend. 

The first question often asked is, “how can I help?” While the motive is pure, sometimes we don’t know how to answer that… well, because I don’t even know what I’m doing. How am I supposed to be able to express to you what to do? What I really need from you is to be my friend. Don’t ghost me, don’t give me uncollected advice, and please, please… don’t tell me to feed him less red dye. Just be there. 

Practical ways to “help.”

  1. Invite my kid to your kid’s birthday parties. 
    • It may sound simple, but you would be surprised how many autistic kids have never been to a birthday party. It makes our mama hearts really sad. 
  2. When you hear people “talking” about the behavior of a kid with special needs, politely re-direct the conversation. Help them understand that the behavior can sometimes be the cause of their diagnosis. 
    • Don’t feel the need to defend the kid or parent; simply help that person understand what they are saying is an uneducated statement may help them not say something until being informed. Or it may not. 
  3. Be flexible. 
    • One of the biggest adjustments parents of kids with special needs have to make is constantly feeling like we are disappointing somebody. It’s inevitable. 

Being a friend to someone with a child with special needs is not easy. It takes a strong, willing, patient, and flexible person. However, you won’t regret it. It is a gift to share life with this community because the joys and progress is shared far deeper with those who truly understand.