Top 11 Advantages to Parenting a Disabled Child

Top 11 Advantages to Parenting a Disabled Child

Parenting a disabled child gets a bad press, so here are my Top 11 Advantages but there are many more.

1) Disabled Bays Disabled badge

No more aimlessly driving around a crowded car park. With your precious Blue Badge, you get to park in disabled bays (assuming some unworthy driver hasn’t already nabbed it). If all else fails there’s always the forbidden double yellow lines.

2) Jumping the Queue

You get preferential treatment when boarding a flight, ferry or euro-tunnel and nothing beats jumping the queues at a theme park.

3) Free Entry

After paying for my child, I then get in free. Whether it’s the cinema, zoo, theatre or swimming pool.

*Caution: if you want a freebie into the latest Saw movie, you might be out of luck. If you’re a Disney/Pixar fan then you’re set.*

4) Celebrity Status

No more blending into the crowd. People watch you wherever you go. Admittedly, it isn’t a ‘Wow, look who that is!’ stare, it’s more an awkward, ‘Awww look at that bedraggled women and terribly disabled child’ gawp.

Attention is attention, let’s not be fussy.

5) Busy, busy, busy…

Endless appointments show your importance has cranked up to fever pitch. You go to numerous therapies while having the pleasure of perfect strangers trampling through your home and checking you out. It’s a lot like Big Brother but with less sleep.

6) Extreme Parenting

Think Mission Impossible theme tune. Imagine Tom Cruise clinging to a cliff face by his fingertips. That’s how I feel most days. I respect other parents who confess how tricky parenting is and I feel my experience pushes my Martial Parenting Arts skills even further…Medications

Nurse (not just the magic kiss and applying a plaster type) It becomes second nature to draw up dozens of medications. You learn about PEGs, seizures, resuscitation and other hard-core stuff.
Occupational Therapist Making and adapting things, always seeing opportunities for development.
Physiotherapist Daily stretches, 24-hour positioning, handling and active therapy.
Speech and Language Therapist Interpreting noises and movements. Speaking both halves of the conversation while researching high-tech talking aids.
Wheelchair Technician Making adjustments and adaptions.
Visual Impairment Specialist Stimulating sight and promoting  the senses.
Dietician Not just ‘Eat your greens’ or ‘Have you had enough to drink?’. You learn to calculate calories, introduce essential nutrients, tailor feed rates and dose, all in a fine balance with reflux, weight gain and tolerance.
Weight Lifter as your child grows in weight, but not ability, you learn to lift a 30kg child with the ease of any burly man at your local gym.

7) Every Detail Counts

You notice everything; every grimace, facial expression and hand gesture. Each movement speaks a thousand words. You learn to notice, treasure and interpret them all. You then appreciate the other children around you in a more profound way. How they grow, develop and learn so effortlessly.

8) Living in the MomentP1030091

Every day and every moment is precious. You learn that life can change in a heartbeat. So you make choices based on what you believe is important. Cherishing the people, the relationships and the memories. It’s less about yesterday or tomorrow and all about today.

9) Community

You belong to a band of people who have been transformed by disability. They are a vulnerable, tender, beautiful and unique bunch who love, and are loved, by those of different abilities.

10) Love beyond imagination

When life pulls you beyond your limit, you are held together by the thinnest of strands. A minute and delicate thread, woven by the most potent and powerful emotion imaginable – Love; wordless, endless and unconditional love.

11) Transformation is inevitable

Immeasurably and forever you, your family and your life are changed. You reconsider your definition of normal, success and worth. You see beauty where you once saw pain and joy through your tears. Life becomes a gift never to be taken for granted. While the grey tones of living shape, define and enhance the golden hue of precious moments.

So these are my Top 11 Advantages but there are many more, what are yours?

Hi, thanks for dropping by. My name is Rachel a nurse, writer, speaker, trainer and mum living in Essex with my husband and three sons; one of whom has severe disabilities and life-limiting epilepsy.

As well as doing laundry and endlessly trying to tidy away toys, I blog here and won the 2018 BAPs award for ‘Blogger ‘Making a Difference’ whilst being a finalist in the ‘Practical advice for families’ category. In 2015, I published my memoir ‘The Skies I’m Under’. I think an enjoyable evening should include a good book and glass of gin. Occasionally, I force myself to go for a run in an attempt to counteract a love of salt and vinegar crisps dipped in hummus.

I speak at events, conferences and lead workshops with other parents like me. I’m passionate about training professionals who care for families like mine.

About the Author:

Qualified Nurse, Writer, Trainer, Public Speaker and unqualified parent of three. My days consist of Lego, laundry and loving three boys, one of whom has complex and life-limiting disabilities.


  1. Rachel Trindle January 9, 2016 at 5:58 pm - Reply

    Absolutely — as I sometimes say, if people only knew, they’d all be wanting disabled children. Ahem. A skewed sense of humor is another benefit not listed.

    • Born at the Right Time January 9, 2016 at 6:10 pm - Reply

      Everyone needs a sense of humour and some days more than others. Thanks for commenting on the post. Rachel

  2. Heather January 11, 2016 at 10:37 am - Reply

    Thank you! That cheered me up no end! 🙂 x

    • Born at the Right Time January 11, 2016 at 7:23 pm - Reply

      Only today my husband was trying to tell me I wasn’t funny… I’ll be glad to point out he is wrong. Happy Monday. x

  3. Rachel Davis January 16, 2016 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    The guys I work with at a specialist children’s home do #7 without even thinking about it. I’m not sure they all know they do it but I love seeing it happen x

  4. lesley November 7, 2017 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    Whilst parking close to the beach, after driving past a long queue, courtesy of blue badge, 7 year old nephew says to me ‘Arn’t we lucky Patrick is disabled Aunty Lesley!’

    • Rachel Wright November 7, 2017 at 9:08 pm - Reply

      We often use the ‘silver lining’ cliche… 🙂

  5. Sheralyn November 8, 2017 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    Absolutely spot on. Really cheered me up

  6. Sheralyn November 8, 2017 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    I’ve left you a nomination. Keep up the good work. I always find a strange sense of humour the best way to get through most days

    • Rachel Wright November 8, 2017 at 3:48 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the nomination. I’ll take ‘a strange sense of humour’ as a compliment 🙂

  7. Lauren freitas November 11, 2017 at 1:28 am - Reply

    The opportunities for family time supported by charity run groups, I’m so lucky to have a place I can go where my family can spend quality time together doing fun activities in a homely bluebells sabstian action trust and muffins dream foundation.

  8. Emerald Gilmour January 16, 2018 at 12:40 am - Reply

    Thank you . A great little post that put a few things in perspective for me.

  9. Kate Diaz October 18, 2018 at 2:35 pm - Reply

    The love. I have a son with ASD and a LD. The intimacy of my relationship with my son is so intense. When he knows i’ve understood something he’s tried to tell me he looks at me like I’m a superstar. It melts me every time.

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.