What’s a clan? Why is a clan important? I’ve mentioned the clan concept before in passing. Let’s dig a little deeper into the reasoning here.
- a group of close-knit and interrelated families (especially associated with families in the Scottish Highlands – side note, you’ll soon realize I’m a huge Outlander fan.).
- a family, especially a large one.
- example: “the Kennedy clan gathered for the celebration”
- a group of people with a strong common interest.
- example: “New York’s garrulous clan of artists”
What am I talking about when I refer to your clan? This is all about your support system of trusted friends and family. Those who share a common interest in supporting each other through this special needs parenting road we find ourselves on. You can do this alone, I have no doubt. You are a strong, courageous and incredibly loving parent. The key takeaway is to find those who share a common bond. This journey isn’t easy, you could do this alone, but there are others out there willing and wanting to help you.
There is strength in numbers. My daughter, Riley, is very lucky to have a wonderful family. I’m not bragging about my amazing self here, I’m talking about the entire family. Her amazing father and I have this wonderful group of people, let’s call them our clan, that just adores this beautiful little girl. Our clan includes her Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, cousins, our close friends, therapists, doctor’s, and more… including one big protective puppy. OK, so Mya isn’t exactly a puppy, but she is a big, old girl.
If you don’t know our story, you can check it out here.
Look Around… You Clan is Near
Sometimes you don’t have to even look for your clan. Some days it’s easy to spot them: It’s the brother that gives you a ride to work so that your husband can pick you up after work on your way to a two-night hospital stay. You find your clan in your Mother for her incredible list-making skills, see where I get it from? In your Father, for making you laugh when you need it the most. Those late night text messages from your best friend who may not understand what you’re going through, but who completely understands you. That one incredible supervisor that just gets it and makes things work for you on the job. Don’t forget about the co-workers that help and support in ways that you probably never knew.
You may have your clan but have been so consumed by figuring out a new way of life that it’s hard to see past that little human that needs you. Not a single person will hold it against you. And if they do, they don’t need to be in your clan.
Where Else Can I Find My Clan?
Facebook has some great support groups for parents going through, well… life. I’m on several special needs groups for general parenting as well as state-specific for epilepsy. Google is a great way to search for groups. These groups consist of other parents going through the same struggles, or have gone through them and are just there for each other. People are good. These groups demonstrate that on a regular basis. The nice thing, they’re closed groups, meaning you have to join them and have admin approval.
If you have a good pediatrician, they should be a good resource for local support. Have a child younger than 3? There are some excellent free resources for your child through your state for early intervention. In Florida, the program is called Early Steps and was such a great resource for Riley. She has since aged out and the school system has taken over for the resources she needs, including speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.
You may not think of your child’s therapist as part of your clan, but if they’re good at what they do, then they’ll care about your child. They become part of the clan.
Who’s in your clan?
Mine has grown stronger year by year. I couldn’t get through life without them, well I could, but it would be a struggle. They’re amazing, funny. loving, caring and my clan. They are my humans and I wouldn’t change any of them.
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