I Thank You For Not Laughing

To All Social Workers, Special Ed Teachers, or Anyone Who Works With The Special Needs Population:

When we, the parents of the special needs person, are upset, do not sigh audibly and say “I’m just breathing” when called to task on it.

Stay calm, even if we aren’t. You’re the professional. Act like one. The parent is too close to the situation.

Many times we are extremely tired, even if we work from home. You would be too if you had to walk in the parent’s shoes for that proverbial mile. Many days it feels like we’ve not only walked, but scaled high fences and swam the Atlantic Ocean without a break.

Speaker phone is okay for planned conference calls. It is not okay when you just want an audience of your colleagues.

We are so used to dealing face-to-face with anyone who specializes in working with the special needs population, that we can sense when you’re being condescending. Or rolling your eyes when we can’t see you. It’s not paranoia; it’s being astute.

And last, thank you to all the truly professional social workers, counselors, special ed teachers, and case workers for not laughing at us regarding any of the above. We are only human trying to navigate the waters of uncharted territory. And we are trying our very best.