When Your Only Child Has Special Needs…


When your only child has special needs...

We have an almost five year old and that’s it.  An Only Child…

We built our house {pre-kid} with 6 bedrooms… did you get that 6 bedrooms! We were planning to fill it with babies. But….things changed.

Current, yet another friend just announced that she’s pregnant with #3 (her oldest being the same age as ours). Don’t get me wrong, I am so happy for her. But deep within me, I have this giant inner struggle. I would fiercely love to add at least one more child to our home but given Miss Sensory’s high needs I wonder how much I can really handle.

I worry about what it would do to her world. We are able to control most of our home environment to help her survive. Adding another child would bring an element to her world that we couldn’t control. How would she cope with a crying baby? When we have been around crying babies she holds all her behavior issues {thankfully} in and will usually just cover her ears and run away.

And then there’s the concern {mostly my fear of} that a second child would have special needs.  I know that I would be overwhelmed with love for another child. And I have learned to have the patience of a Saint.  But, that does not down play the significance of a firstborn with special needs and if our second child also had high needs everything would be doubled.   The amount of constant stress in our house and the lack of sleep. And beyond that, the level of security and safety in our home. How would I continue to keep Miss Sensory safe {because you cannot let her out of your sight}? And how would I keep another child safe in the midst of Miss Sensory in Meltdown Mode?

Someday I hope to come to terms with this area of life. Whether we stay an only child family or add more children. My hope is that no matter what I can find joy and peace with our family size. Either way, my focus is to live in the moment and to have no regrets. I love my only child in the midst of my emotional chaos more than anything in this world.

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7 thoughts on “When Your Only Child Has Special Needs…

  1. Gabriella

    Hi there Sensory Mom! We are parents to an only child – with special needs as well. I hear you on the big decision to have a second one. When people asked me that at first, I couldn’t even understand the question! “Can’t you see how busy this life of ours is right now?” 🙂

    The deciding factor for us was maternal age. (uh, hum!) I want to be fully present for this child and strong and healthy into old age as we will need to care for him for many years to come.

    Best of luck! Thank you for writing this!

    1. sensorymom@outlook.com Post author

      Gabriella- It’s so tough to explain to others isn’t it! I agree with you on the age factor as well, we didn’t have our first until later in life. And that will be a deciding factor for us as well! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Jolene @ Different Dream for My Child

    Our first child had medical special needs, but no sensory issues. Even so, our two children are six years apart. For many years we couldn’t imagine how to make time for a second baby. So do what your heart says is right.

    Thanks for adding this link to DifferentDream.com’s Tuesday special needs link up.

  3. stephanie

    Great post! I have a 5 year old special needs daughter too. We have had several miscarriages and now about 3 years out from our last miscarriage, I am at a place where I kind of get it. Our daughter literally takes up all of my time. If I had a colicky newborn right now, there would be no way I could devote to her like she needs and deserve. And she asks my husband and I to be quiet, if we are simply talking normal! I can’t even imagine what would happen if we had a screaming baby in the house.

    1. sensorymom@outlook.com Post author

      Thanks for sharing! When care needs run high it is so hard to imagine caring for another child. And we have the same thing when it’s just my husband and I talking and we get asked to be quiet. Yet, our daughter is so loud!

  4. SSV

    Glad to have stumbled upon this blog. My only child a 7 yr old boy has autism and several sensory issues. I had always wanted to have a 2nd child but we battled with the decision for so many years. We feel scared that the second child with have autism as well. Also we find ourselves so drained with our son- his therapy, school and many other activities and needs and we feel we won’t be able to devote the same kind of time and energy if we were to have another child.

    I try not to regret the decision but when I see friends around me having 2nd children that pain is often rekindled. But if we just look at our own day to day life we know how challenging it will be for us. But its difficult to not be affected by friends or close ones.

  5. Doreen Berglund

    I’m struggling with this right now. My son has autism, epilepsy and speech delay. He is in school full time and other therapies 7 days a week. My aunt told me her daughter is expecting number 2. I had such jealous and resentful feelings. My husband is fine with one, so I often get mad at him when a situation like this arises. We are so busy now, I can’t imagine life with another baby. But it still makes me sad he won’t have a sibling.


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