Have you felt that your child is different?
You don’t have the words to describe what it is but can feel and see there is something not quite right… social interactions don’t go so well; outbursts, tears of frustration, isolation (not invited to parties), questions being asked by other parents, judgemental looks… the list can go on.
Eventually your child’s schoolteacher tells you in terms you don’t quite understand that your child is showing signs or traits of ‘something’, and this is affecting their academic potential. In other words, they are different; they are getting angry too quickly, their spelling is awful, they cannot write, they cannot focus…
What the teacher is trying to say, they learn in a different way, they might be dyslexic, or might have A.S.D, ADHD/ADD etc.
The term I like to use is they are a ‘Neurodiverse’.
Suddenly, as parents your world is focused on getting you child diagnosed with a condition, that they will carry with them for life. You are about to label your child for life.
You are thrown into emotional chaos questions like:
‘Are we doing the right thing?
How will society treat them?
What affect will it have on him?
What will family and friends think?
How are we going to explain it to them?!’
As it becomes obvious that our conventional educational system does not work for them.
But nobody has asked, ‘How are YOU?’
‘What support do You as a family have?’
Take a deep breath, you are not alone…. it is OK to feel deeply emotional; confused, lost, sad maybe even angry. The most important factor right now is that you are your child’s parent not their teacher.
Many years ago, a sensible and caring teacher shared wise words of comfort,
“It is my job to teach your son, it is your job to love him.”
Neurodiversity is accepting ‘the range of differences in individual brain function and behavioural traits, regarded as part of normal variation in the human population’.
In other words, we are all neurologically wired differently.
Talk to your child about their differences; encourage self-awareness, support them in building self-confidence, seek help and support from family, friends, and professionals.
It is a long journey and one that can be overwhelming and lonely.
You are different, you have a neurodiverse child; you are a parent of a child who thinks differently, and that is something to celebrate.
Yes, it is challenging, unconventional and requires patience and hard work but in the end you will succeed. With your support Your child will fulfil their potential.
Then You can finally relax!!
Author: Nita Underwood SLCC