Facebook - A Lifeline for Special Needs Parents

Emmy Heaton by Emmy Heaton Additional Needs

Emmy Heaton

Emmy Heaton

Hi I'm Emmy, mum to AJ who has cerebral palsy.

Mainly it seems to be used for sharing selfies, keeping up to date with family and friends, checking in at posh restaurants etc

Everyone has their own personal reasons for using Facebook, but for a lot of people, it's become a lifeline.

Since having my son in October 2012, the way I use Facebook has drastically changed.

My previous posts had all been pictures and status' from nights out with friends, complaints about how boring college was and how 'hard' life as a teenager was (HA, It was about to get a whole lot harder).

When I was 19 I fell pregnant with my son and had him later on that year.

When my son was born he was diagnosed with HIE - grade 3, a severe lack of blood and oxygen to the brain.

We were told by doctors not to expect much from him and just told to, 'wait and see' - if I had a pound for how many times I'd heard that phrase!!

So, whilst still in NICU, me and my partner started to google HIE, cerebral palsy - literally any word we could to get us some information or hope for our future together as a family!

We came across a couple of private Facebook groups, I was SO happy to find these people, I quickly sent a request to join and that's when Facebook became so important to me.

These forums had around 1000 people on them.

1000 people who had either been through the same or similar to us.

Some much further into their HIE journey than we were.

They gave us advice, hope - acceptance.

Now, I use Facebook for advice, support, reassurance or simply just to find someone to speak to when I'm awake at daft o'clock in the morning (which is a regular occurrence!).

I am now a member of several forums of which I've gained great knowledge from (thanks guys!), I've, 'met', new friends, some being as far away as America or Australia!

I have people who I know I can rely on for answers or even just educated guesses!

It's been a passage for me to release my anger at life on bad days.

A place to share my sons accomplishments, inch-stones and milestones to people who just, 'get it', on the good days.

A place to feel accepted as a confused, first time mum thrown in to the world of special needs.

I've also found out about many different therapies and techniques through Facebook advertisements or through the forums and groups, then I can go along and ask others their experiences and opinions!

I found out about blogging for Firefly, a place where I can write down what I'm feeling, when I feel like my heads about to explode!

My personal Facebook page has very much turned into my sons - it should have his name there instead of mine - he's the centre of all my posts!

Over the almost three years I've been in this, 'world', of special needs parenting, I've made over 100 new Facebook friends, and I am thankful for every single one of them.


Other Articles You Might Enjoy ...

No results found