So, in “it takes a village to raise a child with a disability“, I spoke of the day where my extended family welcomed and supported my son (and I).
I have to clarify that statement – they support us all day, every day. From the tip sheets on heavy work, to the check-in texts with the beauty surrounding us, just because; they are always there. I carry all of them in my heart. Especially now.
Since “it takes a village to raise a child with a disability” was published on The Mighty, I’ve had family members reaching out. I’ve received many emails and messages. The outpouring of support has filled my heart.
What I did not realize, prior to publication: how many family members I have who are employed by the public school system; and how many of us are diagnosed with some form of ADHD/ADD, Sensory Processing Disorder, Executive Functioning Disorder, and the like.
Two cousins, (forgive me, I have a large family and have never understood the cousin details) reached out. One of whom just retired after 25 years as a special education teacher; and the second is a mom, organic farmer, and leader of some wonderful nature adventures; basically living the life I hope to some day.
The teacher offered to review his evaluation, and share her input. She did so in less than twelve hours; I was surprised, and am so very grateful. Her recommendations, are very similar to my beliefs, and my husband’s. I’m hoping we are correct.
The farmer/mom shared with me one of her children has been diagnosed with Executive Function Disorder; which is very similar to ADHD. (Click the link for more info). What was most obvious to me, about what she shared? The effort she has put into learning how best to parent her child. What works, and how they address it? Their methods are so very similar to ours. It’s intuitive. I’ve been working on my thank you; her message helped to confirm our methods may just be the way to do this.
However, what really impresses me most? The more I learn, the more I’m leaning towards not all the traits of these disorders are negative, as they are termed. I believe in many, (maybe all?) we may just be more in tune with some senses… I know I see intuitiveness emerging in my son. The type that makes me pause, asking myself, “a five year old just picked up on that?”
The level of empathy I live with, and witness in my entire family? Perhaps it’s because we are so close; but it seems to be different than the empathy I’ve witnessed, (or found missing) elsewhere. Maybe this is why we have so many social workers, psychologists, nurses, teachers, librarians, and creatives?
Or maybe, just maybe all this therapy, journaling, meditation, and self work has given me the opportunity to pause and realize these things.
Like how beautiful life is, when you stop to drink in all there is to be grateful for – we have our health; a home; a beautiful, curious boy who is so eager to learn and please; and a marriage that means the world to me. Especially now.
After these messy past years, it’s been such an incredible experience to be gifted with these new eyes. To awaken to what’s right in front of me; this beautiful life.
This is what matters. This is how we do this; support, and sharing experiences of understanding and love. This family, our family.
“Instead, Intuitive Parenting aims to arm parents with the confidence and knowledge they need to quit worrying and maximize the beneficial impact of the time they have with their children—by paying attention to—and interacting with them. Moreover, nature has empowered parents to provide everything their children—and their developing brains—need to become smart, confident, well-adjusted adults. Because all children naturally signal what they know and what they need to learn next, intuitive parents recognize—and respond to these cues. Intuitive parenting thus automatically taps into their child’s “sweet spot” for learning while activating and harnessing their child’s unique brain architecture and plasticity.
More at psychology today: The Intuitive Parent by Stephen Camarata Ph.D