Special Needs Mom Needs Special Person as Friend

I have had many friends come and go in my life. I know it is hard to be my friend. It really takes a special person to be my friend.

I can’t speak for other parents because we are all on a different journey.  How our life works is I need to maintain routines with him while also being prepared to just go with the flow as needed. I am not always able to make plans during the week or even on the weekend.  Even if I make plans they may need to change in an instant.   That means a friend also needs to be able to adapt as needed.  If I make plans I may need to cancel or cut them short if he has a meltdown or if he is sad, or any number of things.

Some of my friends have been very understanding, some have not, and most have just stopped being my friend.  I am okay with them not being my friend anymore because I realize it may not be a good situation for them.  I once had a really bad experience with someone that probably had her own issues and would repeatedly ask me to put our friendship first.  She would tell me how I was a bad mother for being so attentive to my son.  There were other things wrong with that friendship and his person isn’t my friend anymore.

The friends that I do have now are very understanding with my son’s needs.  The few friends that I have genuinely seem to like my son.  My son is very smart, kind and very fun to be with at his baseline.  One of my friends has been around him quite a bit and has even seen him at some pretty bad moments and she is still my friend.  A few months ago she upset him and he yelled at her. She exited the situation because she realized she upset him.  I thought for sure I would never see her again.  Instead she discussed with me what had upset him and how to avoid the situation in the future.  She also asked me how she should interact with him the next time she saw him.  When it initially happened he was very upset but he worked through it and they made up.

This friend of mine asked us to attend a shopping event with her today.  My son hates shopping but he has attended this annual venue for years and has seemed to enjoy it.  Last year was the first year we took our friend and he helped with her with doing all of the math to figure out the deals.

Unfortunately my son was tired and still not feeling well today.  Soon after we arrived he started asking to leave.  Usually at this type of thing I can wait until the third or fourth time before I know we really need to leave.  He asked the third time within a very short period of time and I knew he didn’t have much time left. I apologized to my friend and told her I didn’t think we had much time left.  She said “Okay, lets start back.”  So we started back to the car and my son actually apologized on the way back.  I was really proud of him.  In fact there were a few moments today where I was really proud of him today and his behavior.  And I am so extremely appreciative of my friend’s understanding in the situation.  Even though the day was cut short I think we all had a good day with no meltdowns from any of us.



  1. I don’t have special needs children, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve found that I have fewer friends but the ones that I have are REAL. That means they understand that I hate to talk on a telephone, may have to work around my kids’ needs and my husband’s work, etc. I applaud you for knowing your priorities and give your friend a lot of credit for being so understanding. She’s a keeper. 🙂

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