Notwithstanding professional athletes, there are plenty of real heroes in America. Amongst them is a group that is much larger than all of America’s soldiers, fire fighters, law enforcement personnel and first responders combined ‑ invisible heroes called parents of special needs children. My wife and I are part of that group.
No self-hero worship here, nor is this a self-righteous attempt to solicit sympathy. Everyone should be aware of, and thankful for, the devotion and ongoing sacrifices of these heroes. Our eldest son has high functioning autism. As late as a generation ago, many children with autism were institutionalized – either because of misdiagnosis, a dearth of treatments, stigma and/or the pure challenge of daily life for the child and his family.
Today, there are more interventions (i.e. treatments) and professionals to help all special needs parents to take care of their own kids, in their own homes. That doesn’t make it easy for us, but it takes a huge load off of society were the alternative the norm. So, lots of heroes, few of the self-aggrandizing persuasion, but all deserving of your awareness, and if you feel charitable after being over-taxed, your thanks.