• English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • Swedish
Back to Firefly Blog

Special Needs Parenting: Help! How Do I Answer That Next Awkward Question?

Special Needs Parenting: Help! How Do I Answer That Next Awkward Question?

The most popular question (and I am sure you can all guess what it is) is ‘What is wrong with your child?’

And whilst I have an answer for that one ('nothing, he just has cerebral palsy'), there are some questions I just can’t think of an answer for.

There is another question that I get asked a lot and it tends to go like this:

‘Aww, is he asleep?’

‘Ermm, well, I wouldn’t have thought so, his eyes are wide open.’

‘Tired then?’

‘Er, no it’s 9.30am and he actually didn’t sleep too badly for him last night’

‘Yes, he must be tired, he’s yawning.’

‘No, he’s just opening his mouth, it’s just what he does.’

Maybe if Oscar could talk, he would be politely asking you to shut up asking his mummy all these questions!

Now, now mummy! Calm down.

I think the thing that puzzles me most is that I really don’t know where this comes from when people ask me this.

I don’t understand what they are seeing that I am not.

I look at Oscar and he does not look the slightest bit tired but then I know my son.

Other people do not.

I know I should probably explain about his disability and although I am more than happy to do this, I do not feel like I should have to tell every single person I meet.

Sometimes, I feel a bit like, it really isn’t anyone else’s business. 

I think people speak to me so often when I am out and about with Oscar is they sense something is ‘different’ and maybe they are a bit curious (or nosey).

But, if I got into a discussion with everyone who speaks to me about Oscar and told them about his condition I would not get anything done.

A LOT of people seem to like and come and talk to us.

It is also exhausting going over and over it again and sometimes this is not good for my emotional or mental health.

Especially, if I am having a bit of a bad day, which I am glad to say are few and far between.

But, I also know that this is making me a bad special needs parent as I should be educating people as there is still so much stigma around people who have disabilities, regardless of age.

And, this is wrong, very, very wrong.

I still can’t believe it is happening in this day and age.

So, I am asking for some help from all special needs parents and carers please.

What questions are you regularly asked about your child and how do you respond?
Polite responses only please :-)

Firefly Blog

Real life stories, issues and experiences of day to day life by special needs parents and
healthcare professionals.

Jane Ashton

Meet Our Blogger

View Jane’s Profile

Become a Firefly Blogger

Would you like to write for Firefly? Join our blogger network of parents, therapists and professionals.

Get In Touch

Become a subscriber today

Join over 40,000 subscribers to our weekly newsletter with insightful articles just when you need them.

Join Mailing List

By using our site you agree to our use of cookies. Click here for more info.

Accept & Close

No Interest if paid in full in 4 months on

Purchases on £99+

UK Customers only. Subject to credit approval. See terms below

Paypal Credit

Pay now or pay over time with PayPal Credit. Just use PayPal Credit in PayPal checkout.

Subject to credit approval.

Purchases of £99+:

No Interest if paid in full in 4 months on purchases of £99 or more.

  • A minimum monthly payment is required and may or may not pay off the promotional purchase by the end of the 4-month period.
  • No interest will be charged on the purchase if you pay it off in full within 4 months. If you do not, interest will be charged on the purchase from the purchase date at the Purchase APR applicable to your account.
  • Any remaining balance due after the 4-month promotional period or any transactions under £99 will be charged interest at 19.9% p.a. (variable).

Purchases of £98.99 or less:

Buy now and pay over time with PayPal Credit when you spend £98.99 or less.

  • If you pay your balance in full each month by the payment due date that is on your statement, you can avoid paying interest.
  • Or, make minimum monthly payments, or any additional amount of your choosing, until you've paid off your balance according to your standard account terms. Please note, interest charges may apply.
  • We'll send you email reminders when your payments are due. You can also keep track of your account and view your statements online at any time.

About PayPal Credit

  • PayPal Credit is a reusable credit line available on purchases at thousands of stores that accept PayPal. It's also available for purchases on eBay and exclusively at thousands of other online stores. Plus, it comes with the same security and flexibility you trust from PayPal.
  • In order to maintain the 0% offer, you need to keep up monthly repayments and stay within your credit limit. Credit subject to status. Terms and conditions apply. UK residents only.

Please wait...