Resting in that grey area

Some of you noticed that I deleted a post I wrote last weekend.

I had wanted to share something going on in our lives -- from Ben's perspective -- without getting into a lot of detail.

But because I felt compelled to respond to comments, I wrote more than I was comfortable with. I felt I had to defend my choices.

It got me thinking about how there is no one "right" way to parent a child -- with or without disabilities. Our children and families are too unique to benefit from cookie-cutter solutions.

But sometimes within the parenting community -- and within the special-needs community in particular -- we make judgements about other parents' choices and decisions. We take black and white positions and say there is only one way to parent, and if you're not doing it this way, you're not doing what's best for your kid. Maybe it's breastfeeding, or the language you use to describe disability, or maybe it's about inclusion, schooling, the amount and type of therapy you've got for your child, or where your adult son or daughter lives.

There are so many issues that can divide us, make us feel inadequate, when what we really need is support.

It helps to remember that we can never fully know another parent's or family's reality.

"Even when I think I understand what it's like to be a parent of special-needs children, I can only walk in my shoes, on my mountain and explain my view from here" wrote daddy blogger Tim Gort on Hopeful Parents last week

And as author and parent Amy Baskin writes: "Hang with people who make you feel good. Who don’t judge. Special-needs parenting is not a contest. You and your kids do the best you can."