It’s been a while. Apologies. I had to ‘reorganize’ and it took me a while to get back on track. So anyhow…
One of the most difficult aspect of being a special needs parent is understanding; comprehension or lack of knowledge in regards to our children’s needs. I know by this point one or a lot of you will condemn me for stating such things, silently judging me from the other end of this screen and probably thinking, ‘No, you are wrong.’ But read this through before clicking that ‘x’ button.
This isn’t about love or devotion. This isn’t a question of dedication or resolve. By this time, I think, we’ve passed that point. And if there was any doubt let me just state that I believe any sane parent would always put his/her child first and would hope and want nothing but the best.
Still… there is that nagging voice in our minds asking, ‘Is it enough? Have I done enough? Could I do more?’. As parents we are wired to always think of contingencies, to always be one or two steps ahead. We’ve always had the inclination but the switch was flipped the moment we realized we are nurturing another life and it depends on us to make sure that he would have the advantage over whatever the world throws his way. And if by chance his position is at a disadvantage, we have to work doubly hard. It is up to us to nurture him to be stronger, more resilient and prepared to weather whatever storm that will come his way. Because there will be storms, it’s just a question of when it will come.
When my son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder I knew this is our future. I didn’t have time to feel sad or cry. I’ve done that, and more, all those years I waited for someone to explain, to tell me what was it that I didn’t know. I tried, very hard, and I am still trying to understand, to comprehend the enormity of how this would shape our lives, our future. But as I stated before there is only so much one could learn by reading on your own. The teachers, doctors and therapists could only do so much. In the end, it is still up to you. To us. Do not be a by-stander. Do not be a spectator in shaping your child’s future.
I have recently acquired a certification that will allow me to handle one aspect of my son’s therapy and I am preparing for the next level so I could do more. Now, again, I am not saying you should do as I do, that would narcissistic. What I am saying is there is something more you can do aside from taking your child to his therapies and appointments. There is more you can do to help his therapists and doctors and not just be a part of the team who helps your child. There is a possibility to actually lead it. Direct it. Because to be brutally honest, no one knows your child more than you do. You could do so much more than just be ‘helped’. There is an opportunity, you just have to find your purpose. Find the key that unlocks a potential not just for you or your child but for others as well.
As I stated before, I am a selfish being. I am not doing this for my son. No, he is not the reason. He is, however, my motivation and inspiration. The real reason is so much simpler. Me. I need it. I want it.
I want it because I want to help other parents who, like me, doesn’t fully understand. Who aren’t fully aware. I want it because I want to give back all the help I received from strangers who’ve been kind enough to guide me and my son. The road will be long and there will be times when I will have doubts but I will make it, I have to, because I never wanted to do anything as badly as I want to do this.
I need this because I want children, like my son, to have one more person who understands them, or at least try to. In the grand scheme of things, I need to know more and do more because it’s such a waste otherwise.
I was lucky enough to find my key and now that my door’s been opened I’m going to keep moving forward and I’m dragging as many of you as I can.
For my first task, giving unsolicited advice. Learn. It doesn’t matter how, just try to learn as much as you can, in whatever means that is available to you. Be vigilant, be curious, ask a lot of questions and do not shy away from failure, being corrected or being ignored. There is no harm in acquiring knowledge or new skills and it will not hurt to be viewed differently, to be turned away or pointed towards a different path. There is no such thing as knowing too much. Help yourself, your child and when you can, help others as well. This could be a start of something big, there is more to this so take that first step.