I used to avoid mentioning any of this to current and potential clients, even when they asked about family. Not out of shame, but because I thought I needed to project the image of the perfect businessman, the guy who is so on top of things that his life is problem-free.
But recently I decided to just say screw it. For one thing, any kind of façade is tiring to maintain and a waste of energy. Secondly, I am thinking that my experience with my child shows I have more than a little grit. I have been both figuratively and literally smacked around caring for him, but I am still moving forward. I have been calm and persistent even in the most difficult of times.
And theoretically, those are traits you want from someone you work with. Because despite the best intentions, problems will happen. There will be bumps in the road. Meanwhile I've known business people who completely lose it when their beverage order is not right. Trust me. You don't want to work with those people.
So yes, my wife and I have a special needs child. Yes, this has meant we've had some really challenging times. But this also means I can handle a challenge and keep moving forward.