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.