1. Extreme energy to tend to your child's physical and emotional needs, while mostly ignoring your own.
2. A sixth sense for knowing when something isn't right with your child.
3. The ability to leap over tall piles of clutter in a single bound. Who has time to organize?
4. Supreme tenacity for getting your child the treatments he needs -- and deserves -- whether it's from the Early Intervention team or the IEP people.
5. Bionic patience for handling your child's obsession with telephone poles/Thomas the Tank/Lighting McQueen/flags/plungers/Xbox/purple/vacuum cleaners/sprinklers/box tops/whatever.
6. Boundless endurance for dealing with insurance company reps. (Press "5" if you spend an ungodly portion of your life chasing down claims.)
7. Superhuman flexibility for rethinking plans when your outing to the restaurant, play, bounce house or wherever isn't what your child had in mind, or, rather, he hates it.
8. X-ray vision for peering deep into people's psyches and knowing whether or not they are comfortable around your child -- then doing your best to help them see the child behind the disability.
9. The ability to morph into various people at any given time: Therapist! Teacher! Nurse! Cook! Coach! Cheerleader! Secretary! Chauffeur! Personal shopper! Ball buster! Boo-boo kisser!
10. ESP for knowing exactly what your child is communicating, even if he can't say a word.
11. Amazing fortitude for putting on your pleasant face at the mall, the park or the party when other kids are doing their typical-kids thing and you feel so alone.
12. An uncanny ability to soothe your child when he's having a meltdown in Aisle 8....
13. ... and strength of steel to deal when your child doesn't respond and it feels like the world is glaring at you.
14. Force-field generation for blocking out well-meaning but clueless relatives. ("Oh, nothing's wrong! You worry too much. She'll be fine!")
15. Awe-inspiring resilience to pick yourself up after you've cried in the shower or car/freaked out on your husband/gone ballistic on the insurance rep/had an OMG-how-am-I-gonna-do-it-all panic attack/joined your child's meltdown in Aisle 8 -- and keep right on doing all that you do.
This post originally appeared on Love That Max. More from Ellen Seidman:
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