Wednesday, 18 September 2013

The Value of Supporting One Another

I attended a parenting course almost 2 years ago and through this I have made a solid network of friends who all experience the rollercoaster world of living with ASD and the affects it has on everyday life. We try and meet up regularly for a chat and it is reassuring to know you aren't alone. We had a catch up today and as well as talking about the challenges our children are currently facing, we have a giggle and enjoy each other’s company. It is a positive experience and we always go away with a smile on our face.

As I walked home today from seeing everyone, I remembered an exercise we had to do on the parenting course.  Everyone was asked to write anonymously on a piece of paper one thing that you admired about the other attendees.  I still have my pieces of paper as they are all inspiring comments and if I'm having a tough day, I can look at them and realise I do possess the skills to face anything that life throws my way.  Sometimes it is easy to forget this when you are dealing with another meltdown or you have been awake half the night with your child. 
If you have a child with special needs I would recommend going to a parent support group as you will be with people who understand what you are going through each day, you can share tips and you won’t feel the need to apologise for your child’s behaviour as you are with people who appreciate the challenges you face. 
As a parent of two children with ASD, I have experienced many comments from strangers in the street saying how badly behaved my children are.  If only they understood that my children process the world in a different way and what they perceive as bad behaviour is instead how my children are making sense of the world around them.  I have learnt to ignore these comments, but it has taken time and has been easier to do by having a network of friends who understand.

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