Quite often we have caregivers who are concerned with pushing their child too much, feeling sorry for what they can't do, or showing that they want them to change. I have given lots of thought to this, being an autism mom myself, and it finally came to me this week.
#1- We are not saying that they are not good enough as they are
#2- We do love them unconditionally
#3- They can continually learn more (socially, academically, physically, emotionally, etc)
#4- All caregivers (not just special needs) parent with the intention to help their child learn and grow into each phase of their development.
#5- By encouraging our child to do more, learn more, be more, it doesn't mean we do love them just as they are......we are helping them grow into who they will be.
We seem to get different ends of the rope here at our clinic. There are parents who literally do everything for their child and therefore it comes across as "feeling sorry for them", "not believing that their child can do it", and "sheltering them from the world". This tends to cause the child to stay more isolated in their social skills, limits there physical and self-help skills, and delays in their emotional development. Or we see the other side where parents push so hard, expect more than is capable at the time, or is constantly nagging at what isn't happening. This tends to show us and their child that you "don't think they are good enough", "you don't have a desire to help/teach them", or "you are disappointed in them".
I truly believe that most parents, especially special needs ones, don't intend to put this type of feeling or energy out into their child's world. However, it happens more often than we like to admit. We are human after all. Sometimes we just need to CHECK OUR SUBCONSCIOUS and take a look at what our attitude is around our child. How are we currently feeling about their capabilities, accomplishments, our own parenting techniques. I do believe that we know our child best and that if we take the time to continuously learn and train ourselves we make the best decisions for our kids.
So all you parents out there can remind yourself that just because you are investing in ways to help improve your child's abilities and academics, it doesn't mean you are trying to CHANGE THEM. It means you are helping them grow to the next phase of themselves.
Lori Frederick, Griffin's mom