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My granddaughter has spina bifida

What is it like being a grandmother to a baby with severe special needs?


Grandmother staying calm

Well it is hard. It is really hard. The news was unexpected and everyone was stunned. My job was to stay calm and provide whatever emotional support  was necessary. Others rallied around and provided a safe and loving balloon around the family.

Time passed. I provided support and respite care. I was the person at the end of the phone. The person that my Daughter shouted at, cried with, and shared her latest battles with the people and organisations that let her down. I dreaded these calls but I knew that if I supported her, then she would be able to support her husband and together they would support Emily. My reward always came at the end of the call - a sigh of relief from Aimee and, ‘Thanks Mum I feel far better now’.

I supported the Family when Emily had problems at school. This is something that I regularly do with other parents with SEN children. Something that I have the background to do and am confident with. But with Emily it was hell. It was my family that I was fighting for. The fight was long and hard, and eventually successful but I would not like to repeat it.

What is it like being a grandmother with a special needs child?  Emotionally and physically it is exhausting and draining. But there are so many rewards.

Counting The Successes

Over the years I have watched Emily and her parents grow in stature to a point where they are able to help others in a similar situation. Yes I have been present at all the failures but I have also been there at all the successes, and there have been many. Yes I have been on a roller coaster ride but I wouldn’t have it any differently.




About Daphne

Daphne is the mama of Rollin’ With Mama. A retired teacher and now supports parents with children who have Special Educational Needs.

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