The Challenges And Rewards Of Parenting With A Disability

Content via Disabled Parenting Project
Disabled Parenting Project

“[Edward] is the adventure of a lifetime, and my biggest fear.”

Being a mother is such a dear experience for Jennifer, who has cerebral palsy. As her 6-year-old son, Edward, grows up, he continues to develop an increasing interest in the world around him, and that includes Jennifer’s disability.

As a mother, Jennifer often deals with Edward’s unending questions, something which is not foreign to many parents. Some of them include: “Mommy, why can’t you walk?” or “Why don’t they build steps that can turn into a ramp?” Despite Jennifer’s patience in explaining cerebral palsy, Edward’s inquisitive personality naturally led him to asking even more questions in his attempts to understand her disability.

son kissing his mom's cheek

Apart from the usual concerns parents have towards their children, Jennifer also worries about how her disability will impact her and her son in the future. For instance, she wonders if Edward’s school would allow other arrangements to be made for her due to accessibility concerns, or if there would be improved accessibility in her state. Such concerns are founded because all Jennifer wants is to provide the best for Edward, “to meet all the needs” he has. Motherhood, to Jennifer, is still a great big adventure with its ups and downs. It is a constant process of learning and growing together as a family, and that’s what Jennifer and Edward continue to do.

“Acceptance is a key phrase in our little family; patience is another.”

she says. Regarding his curious nature, Jennifer is now attempting to teach him to do his own research so that he can become more independent in finding out solutions on his own. “We’ll see how far my attempts go,” she shares. But, “for now, his extremely inquisitive nature is both a blessing and a curse.” 

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