Monday, October 13, 2014

You Are Your Child's Best Advocate. Trust Your Instincts.

I spent the day yesterday with a few other parents in our special needs support group. We didn't spend every minute talking about our kids, but when we did, it was great to know that the others "got it." Which got me to thinking about how fortunate I am that our homeschooling friends "get us" too.

A couple of years ago, Jack was injured on the zipline at a friend's house. He had been nervous about getting on it in the first place. The other moms, rather than making a big deal about his injuries (after we knew he was okay, but bruised), all made an effort to tell him how brave he was to get on the zipline. It wasn't patronizing, and it refocused his brain to his accomplishment rather than his fear.

Then I remembered back when Jack was smaller - around four or five - and I spent a lot of time reading stuff about ADD, ADHD, and food dyes and preservatives, trying to figure out how to help him. A friend told me that as long as I was looking for something wrong I would find it, and he was fine. Of course, Jack is "fine," but there are also several things going on - even more than I could have imagined all those years ago. And that friend and her negativity are no longer part of our lives.

When asked for parenting advice, my go-to answer is, "God specifically gave you those children. He also gave you the common sense to know how to care for them. Read, ask others, but in the end, trust your instincts. You know your child better than anyone."

A neurological diagnosis doesn't fix everything, nor does it even change anything, really. But if it helps you determine the best ways to help your child cope, or enables you to get help that your child may need, then don't give up. When friends, family, or even doctors tell you that nothing is wrong, use your instincts, and continue to be your child's best advocate.


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