When Life - Why? Why Do They Call It Special Needs?

This is an emotional post written off the cuff. The whys are asked in no particular order. These are purely rhetorical and need no answer. These whys run through my head daily, on repeat. Next time you want to judge, gossip, or offer up “advice” please think twice. Your one moment of ignorance could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

  • Why Q?
  • Why my baby?
  • Why are innocent children having to deal with such hard & grown-up things?

  • Why is it called “special” needs?
  • Why was I picked to be a special needs mom?
  • Why do I have to answer the same questions over and over again?
  • Why do I have to explain and/or justify the way that I parent & discipline?
  • Why am I so jealous of other kids doing “normal” or “routine” things?
  • Why do I have to attend IEP meetings and read through pages of things that are “wrong” with my child?
  • Why do I have to choose between staying home {in controlled chaos} or possible public humiliation because my child *might* do/say something not “normal” and cause people to stare, comment, whisper, etc.?
  • Why do I have to advocate alone?
  • Why do I have to spend hours online researching therapies, medications, diagnosis, and techniques?
  • Why do I have to explain my *innocent* child’s ugly past to mere strangers for them to “accept” or “excuse” his behaviors?
  • Why is being a special needs mom so hard?
  • Why do people think I am a “hero” for being Q’s mom?
  • Why do people acknowledge that it is hard, say they couldn’t do it, but offer zero help?
  • Why do I have a ball of stress in the pit of my stomach whenever I am away from Q?
  • Why do I have to worry if my child is being picked on at school?
  • Why do I have to cry all alone?
  • Why does this feel like an uphill battle we’re making all alone?
  • Why do I have to worry if our “friends” will stop hanging out with us because of our child’s behavior?
  • Why do I have to worry if our family will stop coming around because of our child’s behavior?
  • Why does my baby have to deal with the side effects of PTSD & RAD when he doesn’t even know why he has those things?
  • Why do I have to cover for the bad things they did?
  • Why do people hear ADHD, PTSD, or RAD and put my child in a box?



  • Why do people assume they know about diagnoses rather than educate themselves on the reality?
  • Why do people assume they know rather than just ask?
  • Why do people assume they know and speak (unintelligently) thus continuing the chain of ignorance?
  • Why is this special needs world so big but so lonely?
  • Why do you hear all about “advocating for mental health” yet resources are scarce, and you get crickets when you ask for help?
  • Why are the medications, doctors, and therapies my child NEEDS to thrive so damn expensive and untouched by insurance?
  • Why do I have to feel worry, instead of excitement, when I think of Q’s future?
  • Why do I need a break but can’t take one?
  • Why are “adults” so cruel to an innocent child?
  • Why do people feel like they need to diagnosis or analyze my child when they don’t know him or his history?
  • Why can’t people see his wins and how far he has come?
  • Why can’t we celebrate Q’s successes more?
  • Why can’t people see the good in Q?
  • Why can’t people follow that elementary rule of “if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.”?
  • Why does our whole life revolve around these damn acronyms?
  • Why are more people jumping off, rather than grabbing buckets, when the boat starts sinking?
  • Why are people so quick to judge?
  • Why are people so sure they could do it better, yet not offering to do it for a day?
  • Why can’t I have just one “normal” day?
  • Why was I picked to be a special needs mom?
  • Why do innocent children have to be “special” needs?
  • Why my baby?
  • Why Q?


Submitted by: Leah Altsman

I really felt this post. I feel like I could have written it myself as I have asked myself most if not all of these questions. I've also gone done the "what" rabbit hole as well. "What did I do wrong?" "What could I have done differently?" "What if I had only (insert any suggestion or recommendation Google has to offer)?" I have been there too. I feel like most parents of children with special needs and abilities have. She is so right in saying that despite the special needs community being so large, you feel so alone and helpless a lot of the times. That needs to change. 

Be kind. Be respectful. Be accepting. Be open. Be loving. Be encouraging. Be there.

But keep your opinions to yourself.

If you would like to learn more about Leah, check out The Hot Mess Momma Club. I've been a member for several years and she always has great information, a fun and active audience, and having the big heart that she does, she is always surprising her Momma's with fun prizes and giveaways. Hop on over and join. You can find her on Facebook as well.

Love and lemons, 

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