Count your blessings

After a gruelling parents' evening at which I struggled to maintain my teenage daughters' flagging confidence and self-esteem in the face ofa slating from her teachers, I drove her home, all the while maintaining a balance between firm and advisory, and supportive and sympathetic. I listened to poor Rachel's tales of woe and whilst I truly feel for the teenagers, under so much stress with work and peer pressure, I still arrived home tired and weary of being an emotional prop, and feeling just a tad sorry for myself. It was late. I had been up since 3.00am with Ben. However on entering the house, my spirits were lifted to the point of elation. Why, you might ask? Simply because as I walked through the door with a despondent Rachel, I was met with the sound...of silence! At 10:00pm, both Joe and Ben were asleep - a previously unheard of occurrence. How many people can experience such euphoria at something so simple?

Many parents take such incidences for granted. Indeed whilst all parents are joyful at their child's first smile, first step or first word, whilst most parents delight in each new antic their child performs, how much more do we parents of special needs children delight in their achievements? Those of you with children with bowel problems will know the delight when they have a 'normal' bowel movement for the first time (strange how many times poo and autism are in the same sentence!), those of you with non verbal children will understand the euphoria when they make a sound or utter their first word, and those of you with children with AD/HD will undoubtedly jump for joy when they make progress at school or manage their behaviour well for even a short time. However small the accomplishment may seem to others, I can honestly say that the feeling of pride and wonder when one of the boys does something so seemingly simple and probably imperceptible to the untrained eye remains unrivalled (even chocolate doesn't come close!). One thing I have learned is that as parents of children with such differences, our ability to appreciate the little things that others take for granted is one of the greatest gifts they bestow on us and one that I wouldn't swap for the world.

Funny Wiring Autism

Funny Wiring Autism

Autism is a developmental disorder that manifests itself in early childhood and affects the functioning of the brain, primarily in the areas of social interaction and communication. Children with autism look like other children but do not play or behave like other children. They must struggle daily to cope and connect with the world around them.

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