Anxiety

The word Anxiety has been getting a larger spotlight in mainstream media lately as more people are realizing they suffer from it. This disorder can be absolutely crippling and at the very least, a big hindrance to anyone that suffers from it. According to the Mayo Clinic some of the common symptoms of anxiety are Excessive worry, insomnia, feelings of impending doom, fatigue, lack or concentration and racing thoughts. 

As a parent to a special needs child, I myself have experienced many of these symptoms. It’s often times forgotten by others, that as a special needs parents we have a lot more planning to do for our daily routines. We have to research schools harder, make sure our children know and use proper bathroom etiquette, remind them to use their words when they want or need something,etc. This is why being plugged into a network of parents that have the same special concerns as you is so important. Even if it’s just exchanging phone numbers with the parents who have children in the same classroom as your child.

The most important take away from this post should be that your are not alone. Feel free to contact Autism But Life Goes On as we are definitely supporters of our Special Needs families.

Why so few Options?

The recent events involving the Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union(CTU) put some things on my mind as I was left feeling extremely vulnerable within the last 72 hours. The City of Chicago and the CTU announced that they had come to an agreement at 11:55pm last night; 5 minutes before the deadline to avoid a strike. In the event of a strike Chicago Public School teachers would not have gone to work which means students would not have been able to go to school.

This is bothersome on so many levels because for one, Education is one thing that is key to having a prosperous future and therefore should not be looked upon as an option. Secondly, everyone in this country has the right to an education, so having a lapse in what we are owed seems like an infraction upon or rights. However, being faced with the possible scenario of a strike left me wondering where my child would go while I was at work? I found a short list of places that would open their doors to children that attended Chicago Public Schools and, were not able to stay at home due to parent work obligations, but on that list it was only one organization that was properly staffed to work with Special Needs children. The Chicago Park District has a Special Recreation program and staff that work with Special Needs children on a regular basis. However, though I was relieved to know that my son would have a safe place to go; it left me wondering why my options are so few.The parents of the children that are not special needs had several options as to where they could take their children while I only had one.

I am going to make it a point to talk to aldermen and any other necessary city officials to get more resources for special needs families. We should have multiple options as to where we can take our children when they are not in school. Autism, Down Syndrome and other disabilities are not new therefore resources for people touched by them should not be scarce. Please feel free to share your thoughts on this topic.