Our Journey Raising Two Children with Special Needs

This blog chronicles our life raising two children, Nicholas 15, diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome and Weston 18, diagnosed with Autism/Asperger's/ADHD. It's the ups, the downs, the joys, the sorrows and most importantly, the beauty of living a life less perfect, a life more meaningful.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Forget Holland, Welcome to the Land of the Lost

If you are the parent of a child with special needs, you are no doubt familiar with the essay “Welcome to Holland” by Emily Perl Kingsley.

It is a beautiful piece that attempts to describe the experience of raising a child with special needs.

It compares special needs parenting to preparing for a vacation in Italy but instead arriving in Holland. The author explains that although Holland is not the expected destination, it becomes a beautiful place to live none the less. (Click here to read)

While I love the beautifully written piece and found much comfort in reading it, my experience raising children with special needs has been somewhat more...shall we say....intense.

My holiday excursion did not land me in Italy, or Holland, or Paris, France for that matter.

Instead, I ended up here.

I was abruptly transported to “The Land of the Lost," a 1970’s television adventure series where Rick Marshall and his two children Will and Holly experience an earthquake of epic proportions that sends their tiny raft over a 1,000 ft waterfall and into an alternate universe filled with dangerous creatures and mysterious technology.

 Like the Marshalls, I too am trying to find my way home.

Not because there is no beauty.

On the contrary, like Holland, the prehistoric environment is beautiful, the adventures exhilarating and interesting…..

It is just that I am so darn tired of running away from dinosaurs and Sleestaks all of the time.


GB's Mom said...

Ours is not a journey for the weak.

Elizabeth said...

To be honest, aside from perhaps my first reading of that essay when nearly seventeen years ago, I have always found it grossly cheerful and simplified at best and completely irrelevant to my own experience at worst. As I grow older and get further along in this journey, I realize that rather than being bonded to all families with children with special needs, I have "my people," "my tribe," and most of them have very wicked senses of humor, something that is utterly lacking in the Welcome to Holland piece.

The Henrys said...

I hear ya' sister! HUGS!!

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