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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Puzzled Child- Who is he?

On the day your child was born no one suspected that the journey of raising this child would be much different from the other babies born that day. Until the day you sit in a doctors office and have a professional look you in the eye and say your child is like a puzzle with many unknown pieces that create a complex child.

A Puzzle - my child? Yes, at age 3 we began to notice our adorable perfect little boy was not responding the way children typically do at 3. He was showing delayed motor skill growth, delayed processing, delayed social engagement, unexplained anxiety, dislike of loud noises or crowds, an often star gazed look in his eyes, it was as if he was in another world at times. At first we thought he wasn't listening to us and it was a typical discipline issue at 3. We thought he was just not an aggressive child and would soon catch up, we thought he was just an easy going happy kid, we thought he would soon catch up with his peers .

After many tests and visits to a long list of specialist we have accepted the realization we have been blessed with a son (gift) who is a puzzle. And each day we try to find the pieces to put together who he is, how does he learn, what effects him, what engages his brain, how can we build upon his strengths, how can we help him to be successful with his challenges, how can we best advocate for him as he attends school? These are many of the same and similar questions parents across the world face who have been blessed with what I often refer to as a Puzzled child.

Not everyone is always going to GET what your life is like raising a puzzled child, not everyone is going to GET how desperate you are to make sure your child gets services at school he needs, not everyone is going to GET how to reach out to your child, not everyone will GET why you parent them the way you do, or GET why there are many things we parents of puzzle children look past now and don't allow to get in our way of loving, hugging and enjoying each day we have with them.

God has blessed our family with our Puzzle child who challenges us at times, loves us everyday and has given us greater compassion and even a little understanding into the lives of families raising special needs children.

I will tell you I am 90% less likely to now judge a mom who is standing in the store with a screaming child or has a child who continues to run from her. I look through different eyes now when I see a tired mom not being as patient as I used to think she should be with her child. I smile more often at moms who look like they are having a rough day with their kids. I don't look at you as a mom any longer and question your parenting methods, style or philosophies because I am not walking in your shoes with your children or in your home. I believe we are doing the best job we can with the gifts ( kids) we have been blessed with and we as moms need to lock arms and support each other along this journey on the good, the bad and the ugly days.



Blogger youtube said...

It sounds like Aspergers Syndrome...they are a puzzle and a joy!

November 2, 2010 at 11:54 AM  
Blogger lilend said...

Is it related to autism?

November 2, 2010 at 12:10 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Our son is 3 and possibly has Aspergers. We are working on doctor appointments and speech therapy now. He can be a sweetheart and a good kid most of the time, but he spends a lot of time most days in his own little world, and if he is disturbed, then he really gets upset most of the time. So we are helping him through things as much as possible and talking him through things, which seems to help most days. We will see what the school and doctors say...

I also don't mind people with screaming children or screaming mothers. You don't know the situation of the family.

November 2, 2010 at 7:47 PM  
Blogger Pamcakes said...

I am a new email subscriber and I have to say I really enjoyed this post. It was heartfelt and honest and I want to say Mommy to Mommy that I think you are fantastic. More people need to hear your message and need to hear about non-judging of other moms. You rock. Thank you for this post. It really resonated with me. ~Brooke

November 2, 2010 at 9:40 PM  
Blogger Losing Myself said...

Puzzle typically refers to Aspergers/Autism - the awareness symbol is a puzzle piece.

I also have a "puzzle child" with high functioning autism/aspergers/PDD-NOS, whatever you want to call it.

I use to have a lot of ideas about parenting and about other parents. I use to have a lot of ideas about how *I* was going to parent. I use to think I was a *good mom* because my child obeyed and did and acted as told...
Then I realized, children are people with a mind of their own! I have a puzzle child, who has taught me more about compassion, acceptance than I ever knew I needed to learn.

November 2, 2010 at 10:45 PM  
Blogger Valeen said...

Thank you so much for your timely post. I wish more people would "GET" it like you do. My son is an amazing person and a puzzle.

Thank you again!

November 3, 2010 at 9:56 AM  
Blogger Missy said...

What a beautiful post to your son Trisha.

As you know, I too have a puzzle child. We however, did not get a diagnosis until he was 5yrs old. I wish we had known sooner so that we could "get" him a lot better sooner.

It is reassuring, however, to know that there are other moms out there like you who do "get" it.

November 5, 2010 at 2:42 PM  

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