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Adopting a child with special needs.

(31 Posts)
Thunderduck Fri 29-May-09 20:29:55

DP and I have been discussing fostering/adopting a child with special needs once he finishes his PHD, which will be relatively soon.

I do have fertility issues, as according to a number of idiots people that's the only reason wwhy anyone would ever consider adopting a child with special needs,hmm but have always wanted to adopt a child with special needs whether we conceived or not, as has dp.

I'll be 25 soon,..weeps and dp is 26. We're open to adopting a child with a variety of special needs, physical,mental and those on the autistic spectrum disorder.

I've worked in childcare and while dp hasn't, he's great with children and adores them. He's even better than I am.envy

I have dyspraxia, not sure if that will be an issue when we're being assessed and while dp hasn't been diagnosed I'm pretty sure he isn't an NT either.

Anyway enough rambling from me. I'd appreciate hearing from anyone who has adopted/fostered a child with special needs, or indeed from anyone who has a child with special needs. Any thoughts or words of advice would be much appreciated.

4nomore Fri 29-May-09 20:38:35

Just wanted to say congrats on your choice. My husband was Learning Disabilities Nurse and we'd talked about maybe one day fostering a SN child possibly in a respite sense or offering daycare. Turns out that we managed to "brew" a SN child of our own! Our youngest has ASD and unfortunately his dad was killed in an RTA when he was a baby so he's stuck with just me (and, like your partner, he was the child nurture whizz of the two). I think if you've experience in childcare then you have some idea of what you'd be getting into and I presume the screening process for adoption will ensure that you really do know before you take the plunge? I guess you'll be better prepared than most non-adoptive parents in fact! I think it's great that you have this desire - good luck

anonandlikeit Fri 29-May-09 20:43:28

Hi there, i have 2 ds's, ds2 has sn's. I would love to add to our family by fostering or adopting a child with sn.
For us its something for the future (ds2 is only6) & we are restricted on space in our current house, so would need a spare bedroom to start with.

Having a child with sn is harder in some ways than an nt child, all the usual parenting worries & then some.

However the child is always a child first with their own personality to get to know just as you would any person.

good luck x

Thunderduck Fri 29-May-09 20:51:09

I'll be starting a degree next year. I wonder if that will be an issue for them but dp will, if all goes to plan, be working as a chemical engineer then.

sarah293 Fri 29-May-09 20:55:48

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sarah293 Fri 29-May-09 20:56:17

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Thunderduck Fri 29-May-09 20:58:10

Thankyou. I haven't read that for some time so will read every possible post.

I love Littlefish and Mog.grin

sarah293 Fri 29-May-09 20:59:35

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Thunderduck Fri 29-May-09 21:01:51

If I was nearer I'd love to. If you and your dd were willing to tolerate my

reducedfatkettlechip Fri 29-May-09 21:02:06

Hi thunderduck, I have ds1 who has a language delay/disorder/mild ASD/who knows! and ds2 who seems NT. They can both be difficult and rewarding in equal measure! I longed for ds1 to speak, and occasionally I now long for ds2 to be quiet!

A friend of mine fostered a baby with possible SN while she was awaiting adoptive parents. The little girl was so lovely, I was tempted to adopt her myself, and after a number of false starts, a lovely couple eventually adopted her a few weeks ago. I think fear of the unknown put people off, but this child was so responsive and sweet, I'm sure she's enriched the lives of the people who adopted her. Good luck with it all and keep us posted.

Thunderduck Fri 29-May-09 21:18:10

Is it ''A Mother Like Alex'' Riven?

Thunderduck Fri 29-May-09 21:23:58

It looks like it is and Amazon are doing a special deal on it.[smile. I'll order it.

Thunderduck Fri 29-May-09 21:41:03

Thankyou Kettlechip. I will keep everyone updated, unless the person who comes to assess our suitability, runs out of the house screaming ''you're not fit to look after a goldfish''.
Which is likely to happen when they see me wearing my top inside out, a regular occurence, I never seem to notice, me looking for my mobile while I'm talking on it and the kitchen looking like a demolition is in progress.blush

5inthebed Fri 29-May-09 21:56:59

Me and DH have discussed adopting a child. We had fertility issues before we had kids. I had to take fertility drugs to conceive DS1+2 (DS3 was a complete unplanned shock) and had decided that if we didn't conceive, we would adopt. We would still like to adopt a child, even though DS2 has ASD/dyspraxia and is quite a handful. I do feel my family is not complete yet.

I think any child SN or not would be very lucky to have you as their parents. You sounds lovely.

4nomore, how sad reading your post sad.

saintlydamemrsturnip Fri 29-May-09 22:00:02

My friend adopted a child with SN. She had GDD and some speech delay. She has done really well since the adoption. Social Services were very keen- very few adopters want to adopt children with SN. (They don't know what they're missing out on!)

Good luck!

Thunderduck Fri 29-May-09 22:13:49

It's stupid I know but one of my biggest fears is that I won't dress the child properly,if they are young, or if they are unable to do so,that they'll end up with clothes that don't match, with their top inside out like mine and I won't notice. That I won't brush their hair properly, or that I won't be able to style their hair.

All because of my dyspraxia. I struggle sometimes with these things myself and I fear I'll make the poor child into a laughing stock.

Yes I know I sound like an idiot.blush

4nomore Fri 29-May-09 22:14:16

5inthebed - thank-you, it is sad especially for the boys but we all (on this board at least) know that life throw curve-balls at us and you just have to get on with it.

saintlydamemrsturnip Fri 29-May-09 22:20:39

Don't worry thunder. I sometimes leave ds1 to dress himself (encouraging independence). I only ever intervene if he does something like get himself wedged in ds3's (age 4, ds1 is 10) t-shirt

4nomore- that must have been strange/difficult and moving going through diagnosis without your dh when he had been the 'expert'

Thunderduck Fri 29-May-09 22:25:18

Thankyou for the reassurance MrsTurnip. I suppose there are worse things I could do than dress them

I'm not going to admit that to the person who assesses us though. They'll think I'm a loony. ''What's your biggest concern about raising a child with special needs?'' ''Not being able to style their hair'' blush

4nomore Fri 29-May-09 22:33:44

From Saintlydamemrsturnip "4nomore- that must have been strange/difficult and moving going through diagnosis without your dh when he had been the 'expert'"

I do wish we had his expertise (and his patience and energy!) but the worst thing was realising how "trait-y" he was and feeling really torn between passing the information on and "dobbing Els' dad in" for all his little weirdnesses. I remember the paed saying that Els' eye-contact wasn't very good and saying (without thinking) "Huh, that's nothing compared to his dad's." blush

tclanger Fri 29-May-09 23:29:46

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sarah293 Sat 30-May-09 09:10:52

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Thunderduck Sat 30-May-09 09:45:32

LOL.Well at least she has her own unique sense of style. And her hair is gorgeous.envy

I suppose I can stop worrying about not being able to style their hair or put matching clothes on. If they look a bit of a mess then I can always blame the child.grin

sarah293 Sat 30-May-09 11:21:54

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MojoLost Sat 30-May-09 17:38:04

Thunderduck, wishing you best of luck with everything! You are so young. At your age I was still travelling around and not even thinking of children. Agree with Tclanger, you need extra energy reserves so being young might be an advantage.

I think it is very important that you go into this huge commitment with open eyes. I think that working in childcare is very different to being a parent.

I love my DS very much, but I struggle immensley with his behaviour and impulsivity. His SN have had an impact on all aspects of our life. There has been an impact on our finances as well. It has been isolating. We are sleep deprived. It is not easy. I don't want to put you off, just wanted you to know that not all is colour rose. smile

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