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SN and Unconditional Parenting?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Anyone else out there?  DS is 2 and recently tentatively diagnosed with apraxia and DCD.  We have him in private therapy and that is going great...but now he just turned 2 and qualified for FREE! :) therapy through the school district...and I can already tell that I am going to have issues with some of the practices...Thankfully it is play-based and I think most of it will be okay...But I can tell that there is going to be some conditionality...Also, we are a Waldorf/nature-y family and DD (4 years) is home because no school nearby meets my expectations and now my 2 year-old essentially will be attending a special needs preschool group once a week...Oh the irony....Just feeling conflicted and wondering what others have experienced?  Thanks!!

post #2 of 9

I had to completely put aside all my ideals about what I wanted parenting to look like and just parent the child I had in front of me.

 

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Linda on the move...I guess I am unsure how to interpret your statement...Could you elaborate?

post #4 of 9

I started out like you -- wowed by the writing of Alphie Kohn and jazzed by the idea of Waldorf inspired homeschooling.

 

I have a child with autism. If I had stayed stuck with those ideals, she would be a blob in her bedroom rocking back and forth and banging her head into the wall over and over right now. But I realized that the ideals I was so attached to were formed by people who didn't know anything about autism and had never met my daughter.

 

So I let go of all my ideals (which was a bit like death) and then just started parenting the child I was given to parent. Without guidepost of what some book would say was the right thing to do. Without an external of measure of what was OK or not OK.

 

My DD is thriving at school and has friend. She volunteered at the library last summer, and this summer is applying to volunteer at the hospital. She's going to horse camp for a week this summer. She's getting ready for college (she's 15 and will be in 10th grade in the fall).

 

She still has special needs -- she always will. But she has a full life that she enjoys -- partly because I let go of the idea that I didn't know what was best for her and that she shouldn't be coerced. I let go of my educational ideals that didn't work for her.

 

I made her do things she didn't want to.

 

So you asked what others experienced -- I experienced finding out that all my well researched ideals had nothing to do with what was best for my child.
 

I didn't get a kid who could be parented by following the directions in an Alphie Kohn book.

post #5 of 9

This thread caught my attention and I'm inspired by your post, Linda.

post #6 of 9

Linda - Thank you.  I saw myself in your comments.
 

post #7 of 9

thanks for the positive feed back. I though about coming back and deleting it because I thought it sounded a bit:

 

soapbox.gif

 

I don't really feel like that. I do feel like a lot of the things that I was holding onto were about me, not about what was actually best for my child.  It's more of a soft feeling, not a ranting feeling.

 

It was also a process that let me drop my judgments of other parents, which was an amazing and feeling feeling.

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your reply Linda...I guess I agree and maybe respectfully disagree as well.  I have changed my parenting to be the parent he needs...And yes, definitely a loss...And yes! I make my children both do things they don't want to do if it is something necessary for their health and well-being (my DD had to be evaluated for a brain tumor...lots of unpleasant and downright miserable things I put her through because I had to)...but I feel like the core of A.K. is respecting a child for all that they are and I don't want to change that...YKWIM?  And we have one therapist (private and $$) who gets this (and is mostly aligned with A.K) and we have excellent and productive therapy sessions with her; and we have another (through local special ed and free) who is lots of things that make me cringe and interestingly, our sessions with her are not nearly as fun nor as productive.  I guess I just wish the free therapy through the school district was more pleasant and effective.  Thanks again for your sharing your viewpoint.

post #9 of 9

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

thanks for the positive feed back. I though about coming back and deleting it because I thought it sounded a bit:

 

soapbox.gif

 

I don't really feel like that. I do feel like a lot of the things that I was holding onto were about me, not about what was actually best for my child.  It's more of a soft feeling, not a ranting feeling.

 

It was also a process that let me drop my judgments of other parents, which was an amazing and feeling feeling.

 

Linda, I had this experience with my SN kid and Montessori. I was totally committed to a Montessori grade school experience for this kid and totally committed to Montessori being the best possible education for all children. Well, not for DS1. There wasn't enough structure. Expectations weren't clear, and when they were laid out, they were laid out as "gentle suggestions," rather than rules. DS1 really flailed in that experience.
Out of sheer desperation I moved him to our (very good) public school. He is thriving in a main stream class. His teacher and the school uses positive reinforcement and behavioral techniques. The rules and structure make him very happy.  They're doing a really good job modifying the curriculum to meet him where he is. He loves it there.

 

What I thought would be perfect didn't work for this kid and what I thought wouldn't work was perfect. I'm sorry I didn't switch him sooner. I didn't move him when I first thought to because our very talented therapist told me not to, because she is also a strong believer in Montessori. She shared my biases and was less helpful that someone with a different point of view would have been.

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