Taking care of a loved one with special needs means a steep learning curve. You have to start picking up ideas and applications from medicine, social science, natural science, education, the supermarket… and plenty of them are rattled off in acronyms like IEP or ASD. (I’m not providing handy links for those so if you don’t know what they are you can feel a bit o’ the bother that they create.)
I found myself pondering this on Easter Sunday over dinner at a friend’s house. Our hosts had this lovely centerpiece on the table. Our first question was “Did you buy it or grow it yourselves?” We were impressed that it was their own work. Placing bulbs in water means “drown” in our planting experience.
Our next question (thanks, Captain Obvious) was, “What is it?” I mean, we knew it was a plant. We could even be so bold as to tell you it was a flowering plant. But a name other than bulbs in water with lavenderish flowers seemed worth knowing.
“It’s a grape hyacinth” was the reply. I won’t tell you how many times I had to type hia… hyas… hyacen… whatever to get away without a red mark under it.
Raising a kid with autism is filled with such experiences of ignorance, guessing, hearing about, trying, failing and starting over. There’s a good reflection at the Not Alone website , where the parents of a kid with special needs talk about behavior management:
“Then, there are the times something is happening in the very moment when we must make on the spot decisions that might help (or hinder) a current situation. We come to learn how to do this because of times we should have and didn’t!”
I’ll leave you with an inspirational, easy to remember, practical affirmation for your care giving pleasure. Say it several times a day.
But if you can’t spell that, try this instead.