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Special Needs Families

Having a child with special needs or unique challenges can be quite a parenting journey.

There’s a spectrum of experience within “special needs” families:

→ For some families having a child with special needs brings incredible sweetness. 

→ For other families, it brings great suffering. 

→ Some families find the level of exhaustion that accompanies parenting a child with special needs to be debilitating and discouraging. 

→ Some families are forced to function in a fight/flight mode perpetually, which can make it a struggle to even schedule an initial therapy session. 

→ Some families are aware of a dull sadness that accompanies them everywhere they go. 

→ Some families feel conflicted and conflictual most or all the time.


Families often seek the support of a child & family therapist in pursuit of a diagnosis or assessment of their child’s challenges.  Having a therapist’s support can help you navigate the complex territory of getting the right kind of assessment from a provider who is knowledgeable and trustworthy.

Families often end up in family therapy just after receiving a diagnosis.  This is a wonderful time to have extra support about how to navigate community resources, school support/IEP/504 plans.  The therapist can also provide you with support about how to process grief and intense emotions.  It is often hard for couples to honor and support each others experiences around their child’s diagnosis.  Family therapy is an excellent place to ensure that you and your partner are working together and staying connected despite your challenges.


Sibling of the child with special needs

Another reason families with children with special needs seek therapy is to support the sibling(s) of the child with special needs.  Often siblings of a child with special needs have a complex position in the family.  Sometimes in order for the family to run smoothly, they need to be elevated to be another caregiver to the child with special needs.  Sometimes they are lonely.  Sometimes they struggle to notice and authentically relay their emotions.  Sometimes they are worried that if they make a mistake or struggle, they will contribute to their parent’s stress.  Parents are often concerned about how their family or individual stress impacts the sibling of the child with special needs. Child & family therapy can be a great resource.  It is useful to have open and honest conversations between siblings and caregivers about their family dynamics and challenges.  This can greatly reduce stress for caregivers and children.

→ Let us know how we can best support your family Call 503-349-2281 to make an appointment Email us