Parental Haven Radiating Hope
by Daniella Daou
Partner Relations Coordinator | SKILD Center
It’s a given that parenting a child with special needs is a challenge. Parents often feel those challenges like strong tidal waves coming at them, to tip them off the edge, to make them lose their balance, but they never do. They stand strong because their love for their children compels them to block the tides crashing against them: the medical billing, the stares, the educational system, community ignorance, and sometimes the lack of support from the wider family. However, although they stand strong, their energy gets drained and their hope for a better tomorrow is diminished.
SKILD created a haven for parents who feel like they walk on eggshells with the increasing demands of special needs, for parents who feel like society judges them for their children’s abilities, and for the parents who are seeking guidance and support. The Parent-to-Parent support group is also a place for parents who learned to cope well with their circumstances to share helpful and insightful experiences that others can benefit from. This support group is an encouraging space for parents to express positive and negative feelings, to laugh and cry, and share experiences with fellow parents with the purpose of creating rays of hope for all struggling families. All that they have endured with faith and patience will be awarded by Christ’s grace. When hope rests in earthly possessions and circumstances and our thoughts dwell on our struggles and misfortunes, we often find ourselves frustrated and discontent. For this reason, we want to shift the vision of these parents to focus on the unshakable hope they have in Christ. It is also crucial to remind parents that their children are not defined by their differences, which is difficult to remember by a parent whose child is labeled in society.
Our vision is to see families grow in hope and faith that they can conquer all difficulties through equipping parents emotionally, practically, and culturally to meet daily challenges with grace.
Raising a child with special needs shifts family foundations and adds stress and complexity. Consequently, we went back to the core pillars of the family, parents, to sustain their self-care and create a culture of acceptance and hope of them. After all, children are mirrors of their parents.