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Raising a disabled child

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According to Merriam Webster Dictionary the definition of disability is: a condition (such as an illness or an injury) that damages or limits a person's physical or mental abilities: the condition of being unable to do things in the normal way. Chances are everyone knows an individual with a disability or knows of a family that is or has raised a disabled child. There are several national and state organizations that advocate and raise awareness everyday increasing our understanding and sympathy towards others effected by a disability.

Steve Grcevich Founder and Director of Strategic Initiatives of Key Ministry stated in his article Special Needs and Divorce: What Does the Data Say? "The bottom line is that families of kids with all special needs are in desperate need of local churches where they can experience the love of Jesus through the care and support of friends and neighbors."

Marlene Ritchie, B.S., M.N., International Educator wrote in her article Children Born with Disabilities: How Families Respond "Any new baby will change the family dynamics, but when the child has a disability the siblings and the parents share the grief and often the responsibilities for care of the child."

Even with all the knowledge and awareness that is available parents raising a disabled child are often left standing alone at the end of the day with a feeling of isolation. The reality of the matter is society is not built around those with disabilities. There has been great advancement and acceptance over the years but is doesn't change the fact that parents raising a disabled child face problems, concerns and isolation that other families might not face. Having a good foundation, faith and support will give each family and individual an opportunity to flourish regardless of ability.

Parents and individuals should take advantage of local and national resources, support groups, social media to connect and share with others to avoid the feeling of isolation. It is important for parents to remember they are not alone when raising a disabled child. Patricia McGill Smith wrote "feeling of isolation at the time of diagnosis is almost universal among parents" in her article You are not Alone. Parents can find online support at Special Needs Stop and Center for Parent Information and Resources.

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