Nobody signs up or campaigns to be a special needs parent. It’s not an occupation you’ll find on LinkedIn, and it certainly doesn’t come with a salary. Or regular office hours. The job description would be so intense that nobody in their right mind would consider it.
Job requires the patience of Mother Teresa and the strength of Iron Man. Applicants will develop into advocates; well versed in IDEA and ADA and fluent in special needs acronyms and SPED procedures. Must also have health insurance expertise, and be knowledgeable about the latest pharmaceutical, medical, and homeopathic trends. Organization is a must as the candidate will be responsible for scheduling life impacting appointments and administering medication. No breaks. No pay. No vacation. No sleep.
I was in one of my sleep deprived states yesterday when I read a story about the perks that many CEOs enjoy. You know, stuff like flying in private jets, second homes in the Bahamas, car and driver services–that kind of thing.
Funny, I thought. These guys don’t do half of what we do, yet they get rewarded for so much more. Now, I know life isn’t fair. But what if it was? What if special needs parents got the VIP Treatment in return for their work?
That would be special, wouldn’t it? Well, I thought so, and I put together a list of a few things most of us would love to have.
Here it is!
The Ultimate Parking Pass. Front Row 24/7 You slap the pass up on your dash and you’re all set to park up front–anywhere you want to! Because the last thing we need is to cause a meltdown when we have to seek out a parking spot for 20 minutes.
ABA Trained Mary Poppins. Yep, she just falls right out of the sky to administer a spoon full of sugar, or Tenex, whathaveyou. Available for 24/7 Care. 100% Free of Charge. For my friends out there too afraid to leave your child due to trust issues-fear no more! Poppins has been thoroughly background checked and poses no threat to your household.
5 Star Restaurant Pass. Enjoy dinner twice a month (100% Free of course!) Most special needs parents seldom (if ever), go out on dates, because they don’t have a sitter they trust or they don’t have the financial means or both. Problem solved.
Big Ol’ Jet Airliner. That’s right. You have access to a private plane–for traveling across the country to a hospital, Grandmas, Disneyland or where ever you want to go. Forget the lines, the crowded airports, and delayed flights. An airport is a venue for disaster for special needs parents–when everything goes according to plan and runs smoothly with the airline. Um, have you seen the news lately? I like this better.
Private Island Vacation Club. Like Sandals, on steroids. Every summer your family gets an all-inclusive vacay where you can relax in your private cabana overlooking the ocean. Private butler and Poppins included.
No Hangovers… Ever. Don’t ask me how this works. It. Just. Does.
Understanding Friends. So I know this isn’t exactly a CEO-style perk, but it’s important. You need people who get it & don’t raise an eyebrow when you give your kid the iPad at the dinner table or notice that there are poop remnants on your walls.
Special Needs Case Advocate. An Olivia Pope style gladiator to “handle it” if the school calls an “emergency meeting” or, God forbid, opens an “investigation.” She’s also available for IEP Meetings.
Concierge Physicians. This physician is on call and waits on you-not the other way around. No more waiting on hold. No more dealing with the office gatekeepers who give you the runaround. Now you’ve got your own Trapper John MD that you can call anytime from anywhere.
New Wheels. We put a lot on miles on a car going back and forth to therapy, schools, etc. Every year you will receive a new vehicle to suit your child’s needs. Sponsored by Ford.
Special Needs Attorney. Free of charge. Just in case you have to go there.
Technology. Provided by Apple. Not only will they supply you with an iPad, but they will also replace it if someone happens to say…throws it into a swimming pool five times then throws it down a cement driveway because they were told no more gummy bears until after dinner.
Free Wifi. From every provider. Everywhere. (Continental US only)
Tax Breaks. Raising a child with a disability is expensive, to say the least. Considering how we give huge tax breaks to Fortune 500 Companies and CEO’s, I don’t think this is too much of a stretch.
I do know some of these seem far-fetched. I mean, how would that hangover guarantee work, anyway?
But seriously, we’ve got the toughest job in the world. Special needs parents deserve all of the perks awarded to CEOs and then some, but what is truly unique and, yes, special about our bunch is that we go forward every day giving our best knowing that we already have the best reward we could ever receive–our children.