Comedian’s Advice For Raising Children With Special Needs Goes Viral

January 29, 2018
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Speechless writer Zach Anner has some awesome advice for parents.

Parenting is challenging in every single form, but raising kids who with special needs can present some challenges that are hard to prepare for.

Thankfully, there are some people out there who are willing to share their advice, and their unique perspectives, to the rest of us.

It also helps when those people are super funny!

Popular parenting blogger Kristina Kuzmic recently sat down with her friend Zach Anner, a comedian and writer for the ABC show Speechless.

Anner has cerebral palsy, and he uses a wheelchair.

Zach has a lot of helpful, hilarious advice for parents who raising children with challenges similar to his own, and he shared it with Kristina, and all of us, on Facebook.

In the video, Kristina and Zach, who have been friends for many years, sit down to chat about the challenges of raising children with special needs, and Zach immediately gives some valuable advice:
“First of all, I know nothing.”

Sometimes the only “experts” worth listening to are the ones that admit they don’t have the answers…

He then quickly provides four really astute pieces of advice worth listening to.

“Be okay with watching your kids struggle.”  This is good advice for all parents, who need to be comfortable with letting their kids fail, because that’s how they learn to succeed.

“Raise your kids to be considerate, thoughtful adults who aren’t always the center of attention.” Zach explains his thoughts on how growing up with special needs can inspire a “weird kind of narcissism” for children who are used to having people cater to them because of their challenges. He says that it’s important to fight that tendency.

“Be careful about accidentally patronizing your kid.” Don’t give your children credit for things they haven’t done, instead, find things they can do and acknowledge those. “Let your kid’s passions lead, rather than the disability,” Zach emphasizes, in order to help separate the kids identity from their disability.

“Treat your teenager with a disability like a teenager.” When you’re raising a teen with a disability, the lines of intimacy can become blurred, and Zach stresses the importance of preparing your kid for the world, and that means also allowing for independence and privacy.

While Kristina and Zach were discussing advice for parents of children with disabilities, it’s evident that Zach’s insights are applicable to all children.

Let them fail, raise good humans, don’t praise them for no reason, prepare them for the actual real world out there. In just four minutes, Zach provides a boatload of effective for parents everywhere, and he does it with a few hilarious jokes.

At the end of the video, Zach has some praise for his own Mom, saying “she’s the only reason [he has] anything of value to say,” and based on her accomplished son and his thoughtful perspective, we can attest to it.

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