This letter is for all parents and caregivers but mostly for the moms that I’ve built close relationships with:
As I delve into play with your child, you give me your trust to seek out their strengths and honour their personalities. At the same time, your wall is up keeping guard, waiting in defence to protect your special needs child. Not wanting to hear the things they cannot do but waiting to hear the highlights of what they can do.
I will always give the good highlights to ensure that I am nurturing their full potential, as well as yours. I give ideas on how to successfully incorporate strategies that may help strengthen the communication between you and your child.
Specifically things you’re wondering about or have never thought about. I will big up your ideas that you’ve already been doing to make sure you know you’re on the right track. I will also acknowledge that it may be difficult to incorporate new ideas as life may already be too chaotic for change.
I See You, I Hear You
I want you to feel like you can share your story and receive support for who you are as a family while you take in some of my insights and clinical experience. I see you in your homes as I work to engage your little ones to communicate in play. I take your family dynamic as insight to develop my approach.
I share other parent’s experiences as resources for you to let you know that you are not the only one with a tentative night schedule or extraordinary meal plan. I want you to hear some of my personal parental experiences mixed in with clinical because ultimately, we are all parents and protectors of our children.
I want to hear your stories too.
You Have My Support
I customize to your family’s needs and concerns in the moment. I hear your concerns about the future for your child as you may have some challenges with tasks of daily living but I want to ensure you that we need to focus on what we
can control in the moment.
Let’s take one step at a time, starting with what’s right for you and your family and how we can add or change elements to elicit balanced communication.
I want you to have the information that you need on the challenges that parents have shared with me regarding the community and the school system. I want to be a support system in your life as I understand that having children with special needs is not always the easiest journey but encourage you to share their successes big or small so we can celebrate them and educate the world.
I honour being unique and point out these qualities even though it may not look like what you expect.
I want you to know that I am a shoulder to lean on, a friend who can laugh at the insane stories, a friend who can cry at their first words and accomplishments, a friend who can be mad at the world with you, someone who can help advocate for special needs as it can be a jungle out there.
I want you to know that I understand outside of the box. I recognize your child’s strengths as huge celebrations and appreciate for a lifetime. I encourage you to share your trade secrets as it could help someone else in their day to day.
I want you to be a part of the bigger movement. You are exactly where you need to be. You can help teach us the relevant steps. I want to super-step awareness and get to the ‘How To’ part. Awareness is the first step but next we need to know how we can help.
How can we help each other in our day to day that will increase our knowledge of what other parents may need, if necessary, in a common setting like the park or a store? Or what life is like during a pandemic being stuck at home?
Everyone’s story is different but may share the same themes. The main thing is the love for your child. How to make them safe, strong, and independent.
Embrace each child’s abilities and learning style to teach concepts to be absorbed and expressed.
You have given me the gift of empowerment as you allow me to share my ideas to further your child’s development. You lead extraordinary lives, my special needs families, with your hard work, day in and day out. I am encouraged to see your happiness with every step your child makes to succeed.
You have given me the power to keep sharing knowledge that will also empower others. There will be ups and downs but knowing that your child is the reason why we empower is showing the whole world that being unique is special.
It’s time to embrace and connect to uplift and change this world a little bit faster than expected so that everyone can understand the true potential of a special needs family. One that has strength and value in my heart and soul.