I Failed my Son with Special Needs

I failed my son with special needs - god, faith, special , autism, CHARGE syndrome
1 min read

I feel like a failure. As if I failed my son with special needs.

What did I do for Nate in the 21 years that I raised him?

Did I give him the skills he required to care for himself?

Did I limit his abilities, those things that he was able to do, by treating him as he was disabled?

Did I not allow him to do for himself? Was I the mother that always did for him, because I felt that it was my duty to care for him?

Did I make him overly dependent on others, when there are things that he can do for himself?

Did I stop him from achieving to the highest height of his potential?

Or did I suffocate his potential, by being the parent that did everything for him?  Overparenting?

Perhaps this is why there are problems with Nate’s behavior at the residential home. Maybe Nate is not use to living in a facility where he is required to do things for himself.  This is why he is refusing.  This is the reasons for his tantrums. He has no patience. He wants his way.

This is why we are meeting this week, to find ways to help him.  We are coming together to discuss the problem and put a plan in place.

Yet, I’m concerned and feel responsible, as I ask myself the question over and over again.

What could I have done differently, to help my son, be successful in life?


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  1. 1

    You did the best you could with the tools available to you during those 21 years. Please don’t blame yourself. There is going to be a period of adjustment. No child is born with a users manual especially if that child has multiple disabilities. There is no handbook for parents with special needs children. Please don’t beat yourself up. Also as you previously stated Nate’s father did not always step up to the plate to help either one of you. It is true that it takes a village to raise a child. You need a support system. A team of people who will help you.

    My email is deborah.palmer280@gmail.com. Email me and I will give you my cell phone numbers.

  2. 2

    I remember asking my college students how many of them felt that their parents were responsible for the struggles they were having. They were aghast at the idea. They really felt their problems were their own. I know that is not exactly the same as you and Nate, but I share it for a little perspective. You did the best you could. You still are doing the best you can. Maybe it will be another placement, maybe not. But God always gives us a way out of no way, and He will in this situation too.

  3. 3
    Felicia Denise

    I’m sure you did an exceptional job raising Nate. You exposed him to many experiences and “adventures” children who don’t have his challenges will ever have.

    He was with you for twenty-one years and you had a life together. Your own set of rules, routines and structure which can be found in ANY family. Take away that structure and sometimes we stumble! How many freshman flunk out of college every year because they cannot make the adjustment to living on their own without parents?

    Nate’s in an environment now with new rules and routines. He doesn’t like it and that’s understandable. How many among us could or would freely adapt to major changes in our lifestyle without some sort of argument or rebellion?

    I’m sure working with the residential home, you’ll find ways to help Nate make the adjustment.

    Stop blaming yourself… there’s no blame in this. It’s just another road of the journey.

    Peace and Blessings!

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