Parenting a Child with a Disability can be Challenging but is So Rewarding

We wanted to share this beautiful article that really speaks to many of us. Being a parent can be overwhelming endeavour at the best of time, but when you are a parent to a child with a disability of any kind, you might feel those battles more keenly than others and face fears most parents can\’t even begin to fathom. For parents with diverse abilities and needs unique to them — parenting can be a time filled with confusing lows and incredibly rewarding highs.

White Rock resident Leslie Stoneham wasn\’t expecting to give birth to a child with Down syndrome 31 years ago. When she had Kierra, she was provided with outdated information and was still presented with the option of giving her newborn up for adoption — in 1988.

But she knew instantly that she was going to raise Kierra just as she had been raising her older daughter, and that meant plenty of  love — sometimes tough love — compassion, and joy.  It also meant focusing on Kierra as a whole person and not just someone with special needs.

One message that is very interesting is that young kids are often most open to children with disabilities, but somewhere along the line to adulthood, we forget that natural acceptance and focus too much on what people are lacking. As parents, we need to work hard to instill and keep this kindness and openness in our children.This will only continue to make a more inclusive community for everyone, which ultimately benefits those with disabilities and those without.

To read more about the stories shared in this article, click here to read the full article on CBC News.