Tuesday, September 12, 2017


For Ozzie

Hey, you - you, who just got a label after years of searching for answers about yourself.

Hey, you - whose child or loved one just got a diagnosis.

Hey, you - who just gave birth to a child with a difference and/or disability.

Hey, you - who suddenly feel like it’s all too much, who don’t have it in you to cheerfully be different today. 

Are you spiraling? Of course you are. Do you feel like your life is being eclipsed? I’ll bet you do. 

Can you breathe? Just stop, take a moment - one moment! - and breathe. Between you and me and the fencepost, let’s face it: even one moment can be a lot to find what with all this diagnosis/labeling/disability/difference navigation business! But I am here to tell you that it is possible…Just the one. Try just that one moment of pausing to breathe.

(I was a Yoga teacher for a long time and one thing I learned was to teach only what you yourself practice. All that self-care stuff sounds great to me but…really? Who has the time and/or money? I know, though, that if I can find one moment to breathe you can too!)

Here’s the thing: there’s nothing wrong with you/your child/your loved one. It’s no one’s “fault.” Yes, the world wasn’t really designed for some of us - and there IS something wrong with people who discriminate, IMHO. But you (your child/loved one)? Perfectly imperfect just as you/he/she/they are. 

Sure, in time you/your child/loved one may benefit from certain interventions - whether medical (surgery, medication…), therapeutic (physical, psychiatric…), educational (IEP, tutoring…), etc. - but so much of that is designed to help us “fit in” to the world as it is, not necessarily as we are. No judgment!  Every individual and family must make their own choices! However, please never feel that these things “fix” you/your child/loved one; instead, they help us to function better in a certain, particular type of context

Here’s an example: students with ADHD can thrive without any medication or behavioral finagling in a variety of learning environments, many nature-based, but typically not including a standard classroom environment. Yet the standard classroom environment is what they usually encounter, which may lead to any number of challenges, including issues with self-esteem…

One of my best college friends and I were a tiny bit tipsy-ish one night and thought it would be really funny to call out to passersby with the hilarious words, “Hey, you with the internal organs!”  (Good come on, right?) 

This particular friend has had her challenges in her parenting journey, I can assure you, but her humor and accepting attitude have served her well.

Because hey, by the way, even if you DON’T have internal organs, those of us who have suffered for our differences and/or those of our loved ones tend to know and live true inclusion and thus we respect, accept, and honor you with no judgment regarding your internal organ status.

See, we’re all in this together - something I think those of us who’ve had to fight for our own inclusion or that of our loved ones realize early on. The fact that not all people see things this way is sad both for us and for those who don’t see this truth. 

So hey, you, you reading this post - either with your eyes or another organ, through being read to, or an assistive device - you are stronger than you know. And you are not alone. Wait till you meet some of these characters who get it, who’ve been there. 

Deep breath in, deep breath out...Welcome!

Full Spectrum Mama

P.S. The Bloggers in this Blog Hop might be a good place to start: 

Welcome to Voices of Special Needs Blog Hop -- a monthly gathering of posts from special nee
ds bloggers hosted by The Sensory Spectrum and The Jenny Evolution. Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about having a special needs kiddo -- from Sensory Processing Disorder to ADHD, from Autism to Dyslexia! Want to join in on next month's Voices of Special Needs Hop? Click here!


  1. This was exactly what I needed to hear right now. It touched me deeply. Thank you.

  2. This is such a great post for newly diagnosed moms and dads. It is an overwhelming time. A time when no one can say the right thing. No one can understand your pain and certainly no one is going to do the work ahead of you. Hey yeah! Our blog hop bloggers are fantastic! :) Thank you! Christine of Sensory Friends!

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  4. Words of wisdom.
    Spiraling? sure. "I wish that i could just be brave" and "ride the spiral to the ending".

    And do ppl like this need to be put in touch with others like them? surely they do.

    peace like twice!

    1. VERY true. I am all about community and connecting - how else do we see in others what all of us (even the "normals" ;) ) often have a hard time seeing in ourselves (i.e., worth, humanity, equality, value, goodness)?

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  6. Not a new autism mom but I appreciate articles like this. My son is not something to be fixed, he is something to be loved. I didn't breathe (or take care of myself) for the first two years and almost drowned in depression. Now today we are just us- family. It works for us and it is working for him. :) <3


      Totally agree! And been there (not always the queen of self care even now ;) ).

      Thanks for stopping by,

  7. I wish someone had handed me a meditation/mindfulness guide with our autism diagnosis. :) I also completely agree with a guide to interventions helping the child and not necessarily fixing them. Again, something I wish someone had told us before we ran around for 2 years like crazy. Nice article!

    1. Well, we probably would have thrown those mindfulness guides at the time, no? lol. But now...yes...we are getting it together bit by bit!

      Thank you so much for reading,

  8. I don't mind being labeled. Finding out was great for me, gave me answers. I used not to understand what it was that made me different from others. Many people treated me badly because they believed everyone should be exactly the same. Now I realize there was something wrong with them, with their thinking, not with me. Nothing wrong with being different. Something wrong with being narrow minded and treating people badly for things they can't control. I don't even have the need to fit in.

    1. Sorry it took so long to publish this - it got lost in the holiday barrage. But -- THANK YOU! Totally agree with this and actually had an argument with a family member about this very subject over the holidays. I think the voices of those of us who are different and are grateful for ways to understand (not judge) our differences really matter!
      Thanks and love, @Aspiegirl,


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