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: