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Ten Reasons to Give Thanks for Your Child With Special Needs

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As if you need a reason! Parents of children with special needs know more than most that every child is a gift worthy of thanks, every one, the ones who thrive and the ones who strive, whether they become our legacy or we become theirs. But on those days when there doesn't seem much to be thankful for, or others are suggesting that your child must be just a burden, or well-meaning charities suggest giving thanks for healthy kids, check this list for a smile and a little inspiration.

1. You never have to worry about worrying over nothing.

Let other parents obsess over the frivolous and the shallow. Your child will make sure you always have something worthy to worry about.

2. Developmental delays = more years of hugs, kisses, and little-kid sweetness.

My 13-year-old still wants to sit in my lap, give me hugs, and tell me he loves me. What mom of a sullen teen doesn't secretly wish for the same?

3. Maybe someday, Ty Pennington will come build you a house.

Hey, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition loves families of children with special needs. Your little one may be your ticket to a lavish living space.

4. Any little milestone is a cause to throw a party.

Your child works hard for every step, sit-up and syllable, giving you lots to be excited about.

5. Every day is a learning experience.

Some days it's a pop quiz, some days it's a crash course, but life with your child is always an education, for sure.

6. You have the privilege of putting several doctors' children through college.

After paying for all those appointments, you may feel like a one-family scholarship foundation. Put your child's name on some letterhead and take pride.

7. You meet a better class of parent in waiting rooms and support groups.

Your child frees you from having to hang out with those snotty parents on the playground, and gives you entry into an exclusive club of people who are sensitive, sarcastic, and sure of their priorities.

8. You have an iron-clad escape excuse for any occasion.

You'd love to stay at that boring party, crowded event, endless church service, but, you know, your child just can't tolerate it. (And if sometimes it's you who can't tolerate it -- who's to know?)

9. Coming up with new strategies every day keeps your brain sharp.

They say doing crossword puzzles helps ward off Alzheimer's. Figuring out your child's schedules and treatments and lessons and rights and restrictions must easily provide twice the protection.

10. Your blessings will always be fully counted.

Other parents may take the gifts that their children bring for granted. Not you. Not ever.

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