Menopausal mom to 2 young adult sons (one with ASD, ADHD, tic/seizure disorders and the other with attitude).

Monday, 23 January 2012

A Degree in Parenting

Like a lot of new parents, I was eager to learn how to be the “perfect” parent.  There were tons of books on parenting…an entire section dedicated to parenting in Chapters.  Even better…talks by parenting experts the likes of Barbara Coloroso and Meg Hickling at venues nearby.  You could just feel the enthusiasm sitting in a room full of keeners hanging on every word.  Whether I later put into practice what I’d heard, I always came out of there gung ho and ready to go after that so far elusive “Mother of the Year” award. 

Then came R’s diagnosis and again I found myself in rooms filled with eager parents, only this time I was apprehensive and a LOT nervous.  ABA, RDI, PECS, SLP...what the heck did all these acronyms stand for?!?!?  Then there was Cognitive/Behavioral therapy, Sensory Integration therapy and something called Augmentative Communication.  O…M…G!!!! 

Obviously the committee for Mother of the Year was going to make this difficult for me.  Not to be deterred, I was prepared to go just about any where in search of understanding.  Even if that meant going on a road trip with my FG (Fairy Godmother) and/or other parents, staying in a hotel getting an uninterrupted sleep and being able to have a leisurely meal in an “adult” restaurant…yes I was willing to go to those extremes.  ;P   

Then just when I finally thought I might be able to register for higher level Parenting courses…something would change in Riley World.  New studies would be published, alternative therapies/interventions would be introduced, and the use of medications discussed…all ever-changing decisions depending on your child/family.  More recently the proposed changes to the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual), which defines the criteria for a diagnosis of autism, is on the minds of many families as the New Definition of Autism Will Exclude Many, Study Suggests.

For us the learning will be a continual process, we may never complete our degree and that’s OK.  What parent wouldn’t do all they can for their kids (special needs or not)?

Be forewarned MOTY committee…I’m onto you!  D

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