Thoughts From a Single Parent of a Great Kid

A single parent describes the challenges and joys of raising a child with a special health care need. This page will describe the challenges of finding a diagnosis; dealing with work, school, and home life; rising to the occasion; and seeing and providing opportunities.

Finding the Diagnosis

My experience with single parenting a child with special needs child has been both challenging and incredibly rewarding.

My now almost eight year old son was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and ADHD at four years old. I remember noticing something that I couldn't quite put my finger on during his second year. It wasn't until I was in school to become a Registered Nurse that that "something" turned into a gut feeling that my child was very likely on the Autism Spectrum. I requested a referral to see a Developmental Pediatrician and the road to Treatment and Intervention began.

Challenges of Work, School, and Home Life

Juggling both of our busy work and school schedules has been one of the challenges I've faced. It has gotten easier over the years, but I would certainly not be where I am today (successful career as an RN, looking forward to Graduate School) without the love and support of friends and family.

“Meltdowns” have been another, often difficult, challenge to handle as a single parent to come up. I can recall many times when I longed for someone to take over, giving me a break durning particularly rough times. Sometimes I would daydream about what a “two- parent” household would be like.

Rising to the Occasion

I realize today, that even though I feel like I've made some mistakes over the years, I chose to rise to the occasion and have been an advocate for my son. Being an advocate is not a job that requires a partner, it requires passion. This great, yet very challenging experience has taught me so much about myself and my capabilities.


I've been blessed with an opportunity to see the world through another set of eyes. I find so much joy in watching my son inquire and discover. His love of learning is unstoppable, and it is such a blessing. I will continue to do all I can to see that he has every opportunity for success.
~Jessica Ferguson

Authors & Reviewers

Initial publication: February 2014; last update/revision: February 2014
Current Authors and Reviewers:
Author: Jessica Ferguson
Reviewers: Tina Persels
Gina Pola-Money