Parenting Podcast – Episode 37: Parenting Special Needs Kids with Jessica Temple
For the full show notes, visit: https://growingourfamily.com/s02e37/
Today we have Jessica Temple on the show to talk about special needs parenting. Jessica is a board-certified adult clinical neuropsychologist. She has two children who have special needs. She and her husband, Lewis, host a podcast called Thriving in The Midst of Chaos.
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Finding out about Alex
High risk pregnancy, hyperemesis gravidarum, severe preeclampsia and inducement
35 weeks, cord wrapped around neck, stalled labor
Alex had trouble feeding right away and was delayed in milestones, so we knew early on he had different needs
– We found out about Benji’s extra needs when the baby was about 8 months old
What are some of the resources you used to educate yourself?
I took to the internet to see what these disorders meant and what to do about it
For Alex, all I really did was make sure to advocate for him and get him into every possible therapy, and to see the developmental pediatrician
I used the resources from the therapists
For Benji, I utilized the autism society, autism speaks, pathfinders, googled for every possible grant I would, looked into the DDA, Medicaid, and SSI. I utilized resources from major children’s hospital’s websites. I joined tons of facebook groups and reached out to people there. We also listened to lots of special needs podcasts, and created my own to learn from other people. I also found other parents through his school to learn from them.
How did you find support?
This was the hard part. We didn’t have a lot of family or friend support. We joined an autism support group, used lots of Facebook groups, joined a special Olympics group to meet other people, and found other special needs parents through their school to spend time with. It was really hard, but we cobbled together a good support network.
“Different kind of perfect” (positive traits that some people may not think about off the bat)
quality time with them has more quality
being more in the moment
Being excited by all the small things
Not taking anything for granted
Finding a less judgmental community
Less pressure to conform to society
Less pressure to always be perfect, be the best, have the highest score
Can let our kids be who they are
Less competing with others
Scripts, so we hear all about his day
Makes friends with sweet kids, instead of obnoxious kids
Cleverness, they do things in their own way
Learning patience, letting the small stuff go
How do you practice self care?
This was really hard, and I had to be creative about it
I do little things every day, from chewing yummy gum, trying to be mindful when I eat, be more in the moment with my kids, self-massage, baths, playing games on my phone, watching tv when I can, trying to take the kids to places I want to go.
Self-care looks different every day. Some days, I do big things, like getting a massage. Other days, just stepping outside for 5 minutes is considered self-care. My needs differ every day. But the important thing is to realize what you need every day and to ask for what you need when you need it so you don’t burn out.
Jessica’s Favorite Product: Graco Click Connect Travel System: https://amzn.to/2SG3oSa
Jessica Temple, PsyD, ABPP-CN, is a board-certified adult clinical neuropsychologist. She has two children who have special needs. She and her husband, Lewis, host a podcast called Thriving in The Midst of Chaos. On this show, they talk about all aspects of special need, including getting a diagnosis and treatment, self-care, relationships, transitioning to adulthood, school, and finances. They created the Thriving in The Midst of Chaos podcast to offer support to others in the special needs world as well as to gain support themselves. They aim to share resources with others, advocate for improvement and change in the special needs world, and offer a different perspective on parenting in the special needs community.
Where to find Jessica and her podcast:
twitter, insta, facebook: @midstofchaospod
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/midstofchaospod/
Intro Song courtesy of:
I dunno by grapes (c) copyright 2008 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/grapes/16626 Ft: J Lang, Morusque