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  • Writer's pictureChristine McCarty

A Day in the Life of Raising Addy…

I wanted to write a post for all those parents/caregivers raising special needs children. Our stories might be different, but we all have the same dream…that our children are happy, safe and living fulfilling lives. Unless you have a special needs child, you may not understand the depths and worries we parents/caregivers go through. I also want people to know – you are not alone!


Addy’s safety is always my first area of concern. At seven, a typical child understands basic safety precautions, but Addy is limited in her safety awareness. She doesn’t understand the concept of looking where she is going nor where her body is in space, whether it be up/down stairs, crossing the street, etc. We have to watch her everywhere, especially outside as she tends to elope. We also have to make sure she is sitting properly on chairs so she doesn’t fall off. You might say, well that’s how she will learn if she falls. We have tried this concept and it doesn’t work. Keeping her safe and anticipating what could happen is like having a two year old in a seven year old’s body.


I don’t know a better word to describe Addy in certain situations other than meltdowns. Meltdowns last anywhere from five minutes to an hour. Triggers can be simple things like misplacing her favorite bow or if a toy is out of place to more demanding tasks, like handwriting (which is challenging for her right now) or even if we go off routine. We have put in programs through ABA that are helping, but this is still a work-in-progress. We don’t fully understand nor can we control when or where these meltdowns will occur.

Everyday Life

I try my hardest to include her in everything, to make sure both she and my other two children don’t miss out on anything. However, I’m constantly thinking: Will Addy be safe? Will she need special assistance? Should I let a coach, parent or even a stranger know that she is special needs? Questions I face every day.

As I often as I succeed, I also fail. I overcompensate, say “No” to things I shouldn’t and even act like she is made of glass. Every time I fail or let my children down, I remind myself that only true failure happens when you lose your willpower to continue trying.

So to Alex, Addy and Andi: I will never stop trying!

Much love,

Raising Addy

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