Lessons Our Family Members with GRIN Disorder Teach Us

Many parents agree that having a child with GRIN Disorder has taught them valuable life lessons. When asked how having a family member with GRIN Disorder has changed us, the evidence points to our kids teaching us to be better people. It’s not only in the challenges we face in caring for them, but also in their positive attitudes that they demonstrate despite facing huge obstacles. As Shannon G., (GRIN 1 Mom) says about her son, "Carson is joyful and happy in the midst of terrible circumstances, so why shouldn’t I be?

Having a family member with GRIN Disorder has enriched our lives in many ways. Here are some of the life lessons our oved ones teach us.

Patience, Priorities, Kindness, Compassion, Awareness:

  • Carly has made me more patient. Being from New England where we are go-go-go, it is hard to slow down. Having to take that extra time to really hear her and understand her has made me more patient. Beth B. (GRIN2A Mom)

  • Carter has made me a better person. Casey and I are more patient, loving and kind because of him. He appreciates and loves the small things in life like the breeze outside or hummingbirds in the air. It makes all the materialistic, trivial things I used to care about disappear. With him, we wake up every day to a new day. I wouldn't trade it for the world. Lauren W. (GRIN1 Mom)

  • Aiden has given me a whole new look on life. I can 100% say that I am a better person because of him. I am more sympathetic, patient, understanding, little things don’t bother me as much, and I appreciate the little things in life. Natasha L. (GRIN1 Mom)

  • Skylea has gave us a new outlook on life. Things we thought were important are no longer. We cherish the little things and moments. As a family we are all much closer and our other 3 kids are much more patient and more involved wanting to help and plan fun things that Skylea can be included in. We have learned to put life’s stresses on the back burner, stop over thinking things, focus on the present, and enjoy all the moments life gives us. Chasitie S. (GRIN2D Mom)

  • Sometimes I hear people say, “Kaitlin is lucky to have you.” But the truth is, I needed HER to become a better person. Kaitlin has changed everything and has increased my awareness, compassion, tolerance, faith, hope, love, patience, strength, humility, and kindness. My judgement has decreased. It’s all because of her. If anyone is lucky, it is me. Maureen B. (GRIN1 Mom)

  • Noah has taught me the importance of being 100% present. He has taught me patience and to celebrate the small things in life. He has made my heart a bit softer and kinder. Noah enriches my life and has taught me to truly love. He is the light in my life, guiding me to do/be better. Petra T. (GRIN2B Mom)

  • Oliver has made us slow down and more fully appreciate the little things in life. He has made us better people and improved our relationship beyond anything we could have anticipated. He has helped us find our strength and taught us what love truly is. Rebecca F. (GRIN1 Mom)

  • Finding joy in the little things. Treating each day as a gift. Learning how to be flexible and change plans at the drop of a dime. Finding the beauty in non-verbal communication. We realize what's truly important in the world and learn not to sweat the small stuff. Sonny M. (GRIN1 Relative)

  • Carson has made me a more compassionate person. I give people the benefit of the doubt instead of getting upset first. You never know what others are going through. I have learned that the “small” typical child things were just that- small. I used to complain about the most ridiculous things. Carson has taught me to never take anything for granted. Shannon G. (GRIN1 Mom)

  • Having Sage has made me realize that rare things happen, it doesn't matter who you are. I'm more sympathetic, understanding and grateful since having her. I've learned to appreciate everything and focus on the good, not the bad. My problem-solving skills have been sharpened as well. She makes me think outside the box. Jessie M. (GRIN1 Mom)

  • Carly has given me a voice. I speak up a lot more than before. Because of that voice, I went back to school to get my master’s in social work. She has also taught me to appreciate the small milestones. When her peers are making big strides, I can appreciate every little step. Beth B. (GRIN2A Mom)

I share Beth’s sentiment. I’ve never been one to dominate the conversation and usually do more listening than speaking. Brett has helped me a find my voice in this world. Because he is non-verbal, I must be his voice and make sure his needs are heard. Advocating for him has stretched me and challenged me to step into a leadership role.

Raising Brett has opened my eyes to issues I never thought much about before. It’s not that I was superficial or shallow before I had him. Having never really been around anyone with special needs before, I was unaware of so many things that Brett has exposed me to. Issues such as disability rights, advocacy, and fighting for those who cannot stand up or speak for themselves. I’ve learned about a whole other world, medical language and topics I had never even heard of before.

Brett encourages me to grow beyond my own perceived limits every day. Without the experience of caring and advocating for him, I would never have known how much capacity I have for love, sacrifice, and commitment. I am so grateful for the lessons. Most of all, he's taught me the meaning of unconditional love and acceptance.