“There needs to be a lot more emphasis on what a child can do instead of what they cannot do.”
I saw this quote shared recently on Twitter by Surrey Place, the wonderful agency that has been supporting T since he was 1.5.
I reflected on this quote by Autism spokesperson and advocate Temple Grandin this past week as we’ve had a particularly hard week with T.
His behaviour felt out of control. Simple tasks like getting his teeth brushed , getting him dressed after his shower and winding down for bed all felt so draining.
His daily school log seemed less positive, with lots of instances of him getting into peers’ personal space or being restless and not sitting still when he’s supposed to.
Other than irritation at T’s behaviour, I was not bothered by the last week.
We’ve been down this road before and I know sunnier days are on their way. Just have to ride it out, learn from these moments, and move on.
Raising T – a child with great potential but challenging needs – may seem like a dance of two steps forward, three steps back.
But if anything that the last year has taught me, it’s that we gotta stop focusing on the downside. When you’re looking down, you often don’t see the path ahead of you.
And there’s nothing wrong with taking a step back. Sometimes, taking a larger step back allows one to take stock of everything that they’ve done and the road they’ve travelled.
I’ve written in the past about my strong belief in the growth mindset.
I don’t care about perfection or being the best. What I care about when it comes to T – and to myself too – are the incremental gains.
Every day, I pray that he grows a little more each day – mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
I believe every child has a potential and that every child has their own journey. The yard stick we should measure them against is not with another child, but with themselves.
And it’s the hubby and my job to guide him towards his potential in life.
I’ve been doing a lot of reflection around potential, because another year is wrapping up and this dumpster fire of a year will soon be behind us. Thank Christ.
It’s also been a year since I started this blog. It’s become a wonderful hobby and therapy and to do my part to raise awareness.
Thank you to you for following along and to those who take time to comment and to share your journey and/or words of encouragement.
To those of you following along more quietly, the support has also been very encouraging!
I recently went into my office, the first time since lockdown began in March.
A package had been left on my desk. It was a parcel from a former supervisor, now retired.
She gave me a Slap-On Sanitizer, an invention by her son that gives kids a pragmatic way to carry and easily use hand sanitizer during these germy times.
Along with this gift was a handwritten letter sharing with me that her son, like T, had been kicked out of his school at a young age and he ended up doing fine, even inventing a product.
I really appreciated hearing that wonderful story and it reminds me that while I don’t know what the future holds for T, there is always reason to focus on potential and on the bright side.