Episode 67: Conscious Parenting with a Child with Special Needs

In this episode of The Family Couch, we talk with Sandra Fazio about how to be a conscious parent when you have a child with special needs.

We dive right in and discuss how Fazio defines conscious parenting.  She feels that everyone has their own personal take on it. Fazio provides that the work of Dr. Shefali Tsabary is what inspired to embark on the journey of conscious parenting.  Fazio defines that conscious parenting involves going within yourself and nurturing the needs of your own inner child.  The child within is is diving, whole, worthy and full of limitless connection to the universe. You need to get connected to this part of your being and nurture these parts that have a lot of wounds, trauma, and environmental experiences that have shaped your thought processes.  You need to get to know intimately this part of your being and then you can externally parent the child in front of you. Much of Fazio’s work with clients involves writing letters to your inner child.

We talk about how your consciousness is triggered when you are working with a child who is taking longer to hit developmental milestones than a typical developing child.  Fazio feels that we first need to identify what “special needs” is. We are conditioned as a culture to see special needs on a physical level with our eyes. We may see someone with a deformity, an impairment, or a physical limitation.  Fazio feels that what we have not come to understand is that special needs encompasses more than that, like developmental needs, emotional struggles, behavioral needs, and internal physical needs.

For Fazio’s family, she shares that her daughter was born fully healthy from a physical standpoint.  Going in at age 40, she knew there were risks. When her daughter was 17 months old, she began noticing some behaviors that felt atypical.  You can’t always describe what you notice, but Fazio and her husband knew. A couple of things she noticed were tippie-toeing and not making eye contact.  Her daughter was way ahead of herself cognitively at a young age. Fazio also noticed the emotional behavioral manners happening–sleep was always an issue and she would scream incessantly on and off.  Fazio has learned that her daughter has a brain imbalance. When she was three years old, they took her to see a child psychologist to address some of the fears and concerns she and her husband had. When they did some testing, they said Fazio’s daughter was highly gifted.  When there is such an offset in a child’s brain, where the cognitive side is operating on a high level and the emotional side is imbalanced, it is called an asynchronous development. When this happens, there is no regulation or balance between the two. Once Fazio and her husband did their homework, she knew she was being called to do a big job and that if she did not work on herself, there would be no way she could navigate this journey with her child.  To Fazio, special needs means that there is more need for this child–you have to be more attentive, there are bigger emotions and bigger unknowns. There are days that Fazio does feel helpless and that what she is doing isn’t enough or wonders why she is circling back to an issue she has already been through. Conscious parenting keeps her on her toes and builds her awareness of her words and energy. She apologizes when she is out of line and holds her boundaries when she has to.  She has to discern when she feels like she is enabling her daughter because of her “special needs,” when she needs to empathize because she’s just frustrated with no compassion, or when she needs to empower her. There are so many intricacies in play at any given moment. Fazio reminds parents to give themselves space to be human.

Conscious parenting tells us to accept that what’s before us is before us. We have to understand that we always have a choice about how we move forward.  Fazio knows that she is more in battle with her inner child, her own anxiety, worry, helplessness, and distrust, which then projects her frustration and need to control outward, so her daughter becomes the repository of her negative thoughts.  Conscious parenting shows that you need to pause, be present with what’s before you, and accept it. You then need to make a choice as to how you’re going to “be” with that in the moment. You can choose the lackminded mindset or the abundance.  You can look at it as happening against you or for you. You can allow this to be the teacher and ask, “What about this situation is triggering me? What is this here to teach me? What am I being called to learn?” These questions have become an internal mantra of Fazio’s daily existence.  Conscious parenting would say to allow your feelings and emotions. You remove yourself from the situation and take a minute to become in tune with what is going on around you. You can react, which comes from the negative egoic lack energy, or respond, which comes from the conscious, aware, wisdom-minded energy.  Sometimes, you may have to say, “I am consciously choosing to walk away because I am frustrated and I can feel I’m going to say something I don’t want to say. I need a mommy moment right now.” Children’s’ interpretations of this can be different. In the beginning stages, Fazio’s daughter did not like this because she felt like Fazio was walking away from her.  Removing yourself is better than staying and putting all of your negative energy out. You can do this consciously so that when you come back you are better able to align and be present with what is before you.

We next discuss how a lot of conscious parenting is a lifelong human journey.  Fazio feels that at the end of the day, you really can just look at it as spirit-to-spirit having incarnated themselves.  Her spirit has been many lives before and knew to be incarnated here in this life because it had a purpose. Her exact child is so on purpose.  She agrees that conscious parenting is about the two human spirits, but there is a reality when your child has greater needs. It calls your soul even deeper to figure out what you can do to help your child.  When Fazio’s daughter was five, she did a brain balance program to help get her brain back into alignment to some degree. Fazio feels that it was a great stepping stone to get her going with better eating and other things they learned.  Now they are working on a biomedical level. Fazio believes there are a lot of things that people are not aware of that affect the behaviors and manifestations of a child. There are days she wishes she could just say, “Let’s go here…let’s do that.”  Fazio has to carry foods everywhere and ensure that her daughter has all of her minerals wherever they go. Travel is exhaustive because Fazio has to shop everywhere to have all the foods. Her daughter is limited on the foods she can have based on genetic mutations and things happening in her gut.  Fazio mentions that her daughter recently had one piece of macaroni and cheese and it caused huge issues. There is deep work when you have a child with these requirements and you feel more confined. You get through it and do your best to show up, but Fazio tells parents to give themselves a break.

We discuss how parents can bring their conscious parenting into their advocacy for their child.  Fazio believes it starts at home. Doing the brain balance program allowed Fazio and her husband to wake up and shift some patterns, like altering the way they eat.  As a result of this, they have educated their daughter. When you educate and empower your child and explain to them what is happening, they understand what will happen if they, for example, eat a piece of cake.  They have also learned how to find alternatives with food. Fazio reads food labels in detail to check ingredients. You can have empathy and let your child know that you understand that it is difficult to only eat certain things and not enjoy others.  Fazio will catch herself projecting onto her child and saying, “Honey, I know it’s hard,” and her daughter says, “Oh, it’s okay!”

Regarding grandparents, you just have to educate and inform them.  You cannot worry about what people think and feel like you need to justify yourself.  The people that support you will always want what’s best for you. You can write lists or notes.  Fazio buy things and leaves them at the grandparents’ house so she has everything she needs. Advocacy is important, but Fazio advises that not everyone will be conscious or compassionate.  She provides that we just need to do our best to show up and ask for help when we need it. Fazio wants parents to know that they have been given their child for a divine purpose. She advises parents to take time to reflect and see the beauty in your child and understand the gifts they are giving you for your own growth and transformation.  Your child is the divine child called to you to wake you up. Fazio reminds parents to keep affirming your child and empowering them.



Sandra Fazio is a mother who began her journey at almost the age of 40.  When her daughter turned a year old, she fully devoted her life to her. She is now a parent and life coach, blogger, writer and speaker.  Her offering is to expand and deepen the conversations around conscious parenting for all parents and parent-type figures, to raise our collective self-awareness and to make this world better for our children to live and lead and for generations to come.



WEBSITE: https://sandrafazio.com/

BOOK: The Diaries of a Conscious Parent: One Mother’s Journey To Raising Herself Through Her Daughter’s Essence on Amazon

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/sandrafazioconsciousparenting

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/sandrafazioconsciousparent/


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