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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay so everyone has recommended his book to me...and it's making me MAD! I haven't even gotten a third of the way through and as the mom to a kid with developmental delays it makes me PO'd!<br><br>
He has a whole section on "labels" for kids and how it's an excuse for not having a good attachment with your kids (ADHD, etc)! OBVIOUSLY this guy has never parented a kid with these issues! ARGH!<br><br>
I went to hear a talk by one of this guy's disciples here in Marin and without even reading the book I was getting the creeps from this philosophy. So I raised my hand and said "this theory of attachment is great and all but you are implying that if you have problems it's because of a bad attachment but that can't be! My kids has been AP'd from birth and she still has issues!" I mean no CIO, I've never pushed her to do anything she wasn't ready for (we're still not potty trained for krikes sake), and we do lots of playful parenting to reestablish our connection when things are getting rough between us....I'm sorry but developmental issues have NOTHING to do with attachment! ARGH.<br><br>
One mom even said something like "well Breastfed babies talk much earlier because it is working out the muscles of their mouth" - WHAT? So what happened with my kid then?<br><br>
Anyway, it just seems like the same thing I hear from other parents all the time when I tell them about DD (she has APD, SID and is at-risk for ADHD - uncles on both sides had ADHD and she shows attention deficet issues). They inevitably say "well she talks". Or "all kids have attention problems". It's like since she isn't in a wheel chair or because she is happy she can't possibly have anything amiss.<br><br>
Um, HELLO!<br><br>
Sorry but this kind of thing burns me up and now it's an "expert" saying this BS. Anyone else ever read this guys book? Is it worth continuing to read?<br><br>
peace,<br>
robyn
 

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Toss it in your recycling bin. The "refrigerator mother" theory was rejected by the scientific community more than 30 years ago. A lot of people still bounce it around anyway.<br><br>
With that said, there is one boy in my son's class who was diagnosed not with autism, but with "an understimulating home environment" that caused his autistic symptoms (yes, he lives with his bio parents, and yes, it is a tragedy). So while it is possible for detachment to cause these developmental issues, it is not the norm.
 

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I'm reading that book now, but I skipped most of the beginning. I think, rather, that attachment can help many things. I also like one of the primary ideas of his book--that kids should be more attached to adults than to peers. A lot of people agree with the aspects of our culture that place such a high priority on peer relationships over adult ones. So you could skip ahead to the more practical sections.<br><br><br>
Sherri
 

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I have two kids with special needs, and I loved Hold Onto Your Kids. What I got out of it was that parent-orientation is better and healthier than peer-orientation. I read it a while ago though, maybe I should read it again so I can remember what you're talking about.
 

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Everyone recommended this book to me, too. I read it and disliked it. First, I didn't like the writer's style. Second, it didn't tell me anything I didn't already know (in terms of safety). Third, I felt that he was very black-and-white about issues. Lastly, I felt he was very condescending. I don't recommend this book to anyone, and I think you should gleefully toss it in the trash.<br><br>
dm
 

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A number of people have insensitively suggested to me that their kids were developmentally on track or ahead because of things they did. One said her son was developing early because they took him camping a lot. Another said hers was on track because she breastfed beyond 2 years. It's really shocking actually how many people out there think this way. I get extra steamed when "experts" provide support for such thinking. I read that book, excited by the idea that the need for socializing early was a cultural creation. But I was so disappointed by the approach he took - the whole attachment thing you refer to, Robyn - that I put it down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Kerry - that is a pet peeve of mine too - the "my kid is advanced because we're doing X". I mean part of it is my own irrational feelings of guilt - like somehow I did something wrong to cause my DD's delay (which I know is not true but still, I can't help but think like this...). But those kinds of statements just really bother me too... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Anyway, I guess I'll skim the rest and see if there is something useful further along...<br>
peace,<br>
robyn
 

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I find anyone who says only xyz is the answer, or that if you simply do xyz with your child everything will be all right to be automatically suspect.<br><br>
There is no pat answer. There is no magic bullet. There is no magic formula. People who get dogmatic about a parenting style are myopic at best, sanctimonious and condescending at worst. They view life through their narrow little scope, having never had to "take a walk on the wild side," and still live with the delusion that everything in life, including their child's development and behavior, is totally within their control. Part of me laughs at them and their ignorance, envisioning the chaotic scene that would ensue if they ever had a sn kid who didn't fit into their little formula or dogma. The other part of me is infuriated by them, because they are the ultimate preachers of the "why don't you just...." school of parenting. <i>Just</i> do this and your child will be okay. <i>Just</i> parent like this and nothing will go wrong. <i>Just</i> do this and your child's development will surpass that of his/her peers and s/he will be totally emotionally and socially healthy, 100% attached, and of course will meet all milestones early and without difficulty. Then if your child isn't 100% perfect (their definition of perfect, of course...), it <i>must</i> be your fault, you must have somehow failed, you didn't follow the formula, because in their eyes the formula is never wrong.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hammer.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hammer"><br><br>
Any book that raises my blood pressure that much automatically gets shelved and never opened again.<br><br>
Toss it. Toss him.
 

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As the Gordon Neufeld “disciple” mentioned in this post I have gone back and forth over the merits of responding to Robyn’s post here. In the spirit of sincere dialogue and understanding, I thought I’d give it a shot.<br><br>
First of all, I guess I don’t consider myself a disciple of anyone <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> but as a dad and as parent consultant and educator, I have found his work to be tremendously helpful.<br><br>
One of the most valuable lessons I learned in Grad School was in my Couples Therapy class where we talked a lot about “intent and impact”. The lesson was that no matter how true or well meaning someone’s <i>intent</i> is that the <i>impact</i> on the other person could be completely misconstrued or otherwise taken the wrong way.<br><br>
I can remember very clearly Robyn’s reaction in that particular talk because I just remember thinking “how can she possibly think I was saying what she thinks I am saying?” This is not about right or wrong, just about how people misunderstand each other sometimes.<br><br>
Robyn did raise her hand and said what she said she did ("this theory of attachment is great and all but you are implying that if you have problems it's because of a bad attachment but that can't be! My kids has been AP'd from birth and she still has issues!") but what she didn’t mention is that I said very clearly that I didn’t see things that way at all and neither does Dr. Neufeld. I also encouraged Robyn to call me after class to clear up any misunderstandings she had.<br><br>
And saying that he says in Hold On to Your Kids that he thinks labels for kids is just an excuse for not having a good attachment with your kids is really not accurate.<br><br>
What Dr. Neufeld says is that labels can sometimes get in the way of us truly seeing what is going on for our kids, including what is truly unique about them.<br><br>
What he says about kids with special needs is not that they are the way they are because of lack of attachment, but rather that their parent(s) might be helped by understanding how their childs particular sensitivies and needs can affect the normal process of deepening attachment over time. That way they can compensate for this in very specific ways.<br><br>
And one of the things that makes Dr. Neufeld unique is that he helps parents understand that attachment is not just about the infant years, but is something that develops over a much longer period of time.<br><br>
I really am not trying to mount some defense of Dr. Neufeld’s work. He is one of the most respected developmentalists in the world and he doesn’t need my help. I just think that Robyn is really misheard his message. If that was in any way my fault, I apologize.
 

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Well well well...I'll take the bait. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mischievous.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="mischief"><br><br>
Since you're here, and this IS the special needs forum, do YOU have a special needs child? Or are you one of those people who just gets off on preaching at us poor, misguided, horrible special needs parents who have obviously screwed up their children? Do tell.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lurk.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lurk">:
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lurk.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lurk">:<br><br>
Oh boy, oh boy! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Cool. Camping puts kids ahead developmentally! Woohoo! DS should be cured in August then. Whew! That's a load off my mind. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
This was one of those books I picked up in the store when I realized something may not be quite right with DS about a year ago. I read the first 30 pages and put it back because I couldn't stand the rather condescending tone and because although I do practice a lot of AP principles, many of my friends don't and their kids are NT. What the heck? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br>
I'm also not really into the "blame the mother" game so much. My son isn't different because I did anything wrong - he's just who he is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Okay, Todd, here's my response.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>honumarin</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8655211"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">One of the most valuable lessons I learned in Grad School was in my Couples Therapy class where we talked a lot about “intent and impact”. The lesson was that no matter how true or well meaning someone’s <i>intent</i> is that the <i>impact</i> on the other person could be completely misconstrued or otherwise taken the wrong way.</div>
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You are implying, I suppose, that there is some breakdown in communication here and that if only we communicated better I would agree with you. Respectfully, I don't. I think Neufeld makes some VERY questionable assertions and I'm bothered by them.<br><br>
For example he says<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Difficulty in parenting often leads to a hunt to find out what is wrong with the child....the more frustrating parenting becomes, the more likely children will be perceived as difficult and the more labels will be sought for verification....increasingly, children's behavioral problems are ascribed to various medical syndromes such as oppositional defiant disorder or attention deficit disorder.....they camouflage the REVERSIBLE DYNAMICS that cause children to misbehave in the first place.</td>
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(emphasis is mine)<br><br>
Presumably he is saying that if only we restore a proper attachment to parents (the thesis of his book) that these syndroms are reversible. I question this assertion and think it has no basis in studied fact. In fact, he goes on to repeat this by saying....<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">That Sean was a handful was not in question. His impulsiveness made him harder to manage, to be sure. Most impulses, however, are triggered by attachment, and it was Sean's attachments that had gone astray.</td>
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I see that as a clear as day explanations of where Neufeld stands on the whole ADHD debate. And I just really disagree. I DON'T think that the problem is that they are too peer oriented - I mean they might be, just like any other kid. But that doesn't have anything to do with ADHD.<br><br>
And I think he takes a really insulting view of parents whose children have a diagnosis. He seem to think parents and doctors are merely pathologizing bad behavior. I know in my case, I had NO IDEA that my DD was at risk for ADHD - I thought her level of activity was "normal". And to her it is. But having a diagnosis for us is a way to help her learn to cope instead of suffering the way my brother did. All his life he had to hear that he was lazy, stupid, why couldn't he just pay attention, etc. Now I can clearly understand why she might be having a problem with a certain task and I can rely on the wisdom of others who have gone down this path to help inform how I can help her. Her issues have NOTHING to do with too much peer attachment. In fact she has trouble attaching to her peers!<br><br>
Anyway, those are the kinds of statements I am responding to. Maybe the section I'm quoting from is just sloppily written. But all I have to go on are his words in his book.<br><br>
There were other aspects to his book which I found useful. But I just really question his idea that "attachment to peers" or a bad attachment to parents can account for EVERYTHING!<br><br>
hth clarify what bothered me about the book,<br>
peace,<br>
robyn
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">As the Gordon Neufeld “disciple” mentioned in this post I have gone back and forth over the merits of responding to Robyn’s post here. In the spirit of sincere dialogue and understanding, I thought I’d give it a shot.</td>
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you have no idea the can of worms you are opening here<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">First of all, I guess I don’t consider myself a disciple of anyone but as a dad and as parent consultant and educator, I have found his work to be tremendously helpful.</td>
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are you a parent of a child with special needs?<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">One of the most valuable lessons I learned in Grad School was in my Couples Therapy class where we talked a lot about “intent and impact”. The lesson was that no matter how true or well meaning someone’s intent is that the impact on the other person could be completely misconstrued or otherwise taken the wrong way.<br><br>
I can remember very clearly Robyn’s reaction in that particular talk because I just remember thinking “how can she possibly think I was saying what she thinks I am saying?” This is not about right or wrong, just about how people misunderstand each other sometimes.<br><br>
Robyn did raise her hand and said what she said she did ("this theory of attachment is great and all but you are implying that if you have problems it's because of a bad attachment but that can't be! My kids has been AP'd from birth and she still has issues!") but what she didn’t mention is that I said very clearly that I didn’t see things that way at all and neither does Dr. Neufeld. I also encouraged Robyn to call me after class to clear up any misunderstandings she had.</td>
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You really think, that clarifying afterwards would truly help? A lot of what has been published by Dr Neufeld states the same gist.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">And saying that he says in Hold On to Your Kids that he thinks labels for kids is just an excuse for not having a good attachment with your kids is really not accurate.<br><br>
What Dr. Neufeld says is that labels can sometimes get in the way of us truly seeing what is going on for our kids, including what is truly unique about them.</td>
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Have you ever considered that parents are trying to figure out what is going on with their kids so that they can HELP their kids? It is so hard to know that something is not right and to want to know what it is so you can help them. It is NOT about an excuse to not parent. It is about trying to figure out what is wrong so you can help the child and be a BETTER parent for them.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">What he says about kids with special needs is not that they are the way they are because of lack of attachment, but rather that their parent(s) might be helped by understanding how their childs particular sensitivies and needs can affect the normal process of deepening attachment over time. That way they can compensate for this in very specific ways.</td>
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If labels are bad and parents should not seek out finding what is going on because kids are unique, how the bloody heck are they to adjust their parenting to their child's diagnosis?<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">And one of the things that makes Dr. Neufeld unique is that he helps parents understand that attachment is not just about the infant years, but is something that develops over a much longer period of time.</td>
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I do understand and agree with that statement.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I really am not trying to mount some defense of Dr. Neufeld’s work. He is one of the most respected developmentalists in the world and he doesn’t need my help. I just think that Robyn is really misheard his message. If that was in any way my fault, I apologize.</td>
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That is highly debatable and a matter of opinion. This guy is a lecturer and an author who is out to make money. He doesn't even have a wikipedia page.<br><br>
Also, as far as special needs parenting goes, I do not consider him an expert because he has never parented a special needs child. Unless you have been there AS THE PARENT, you have no clue what it is like. You can work with and study thousands of kids, but unless you have actually been there as a parent raising the child, you have no clue. Sorry.<br><br>
I looked on his website. He states he wants to teach parents and educators, but all that is there is a sales pitch about buying his products. I do not see anything other than marketing on google. Sorry, I do not see him as the holy grail expert you pitch him ass. I see him as just another person trying to make money off of telling parents they are doing it wrong and that they have all the answers.<br><br>
No thanks. Next Please.
 

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Thank you for your responses, even the ones that sting a bit.I made that post to clarify and try to create (I hoped) a bridge, not to advance an argument or claim that HOTYK was created as a book for parents of children with special needs. The book is actually a very small sliver of the Dr's work and was edited heavily by the publisher.<br><br>
I hesitated to post not because I didn't feel compelled to, but because I find that often on message boards it is hard to have a civil discussion. Obviously, as hard as I tried to just address what I saw as a misunderstanding and not turn it into an argument, I said things that upset people. I am sorry.<br><br>
And Robyn, thank you so much for your prompt response. Just to be clear, I didn't think that if you understood you would agree, I just knew that you misunderstood. That's all. I did not say what you thought I did.<br><br>
And for those of you who thought I said anything like I "blame the mother" EVER, you're just wrong. Or that I think anyone is "poor, misguided, etc".<br><br>
I love Mothering magazine and after being told 10 times about this post by moms who pointed it out to me I decided to try to just say something I felt as true. If I ask anything, it is that people who are angry and frustrated might look again at what I actually wrote and see if it says anything offensive or condescending or mean.
 

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I'll ask for the 3rd time in this thread...<br><br><span style="font-size:x-large;">Do you have a special needs child?</span>
 

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No, I do not. I have a very energetic 4 year old boy and I've been working with special needs kids (from 2 years old to 17 years old) for 7 years- in their homes, as a counselor, as a mentor, and in group homes.<br><br>
I am going to stop replying here because I just have the feeling that I walked into a conversation where I am not welcomed and that's completely OK. I only stopped to say something because I was mentioned and because I thought there was an opportunity to resolve a misunderstanding.<br><br>
I was not trying to avoid the question, there were just so many replies and they seemed so angry with me I thought it best to not engage in a tit-for-tat.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I thought it best to not engage in a tit-for-tat.</td>
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You thought right. Buh bye.<br><br>
Here's a tip for the future.....before I ever had a baby, I worked labor and delivery as a nurse. NEVER once did I try to tell any of my patients that I understood what they were going through, nor did I try and tell them that what they were doing was wrong or bad or whatever. If you've never been there, it's usually best to STFU or to tread very very lightly. Treading lightly means not trying to defend myopic dogma of some crackpot trying to peddle his wares as the latest magic parenting bullet.<br><br>
Just a tip.
 

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I did look at what you wrote again and I do see a lot of arrogance in what you are saying.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">And Robyn, thank you so much for your prompt response. Just to be clear, I didn't think that if you understood you would agree, <b>I just knew that you misunderstood.</b> That's all. I did not say what you thought I did.</td>
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That in itself is arrogant and presumptuous. She may have understood you completely and still thinks you are wrong.<br><br><br><br>
Again, you are likely well intentioned in your views and think that what you are saying is full of wisdom and can help people. When in reality, it is a bit condescending and stings to people who have tried to do everything right and be the perfect parent but yet still get put into a situation that can be a living hell at times. We are already constantly beating ourselves up and blaming ourselves for the struggles our children have to face. We do not need extra guilt from people like you and your mentor making us feel like we are doing things wrong and have to second guess ourselves even more.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>honumarin</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8656664"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">No, I do not. I have a very energetic 4 year old boy and I've been working with special needs kids (from 2 years old to 17 years old) for 7 years- in their homes, as a counselor, as a mentor, and in group homes.</div>
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I am glad you do not have a special needs child. I am glad that your son is healthy and happy.<br><br>
I applaud you for working with special needs kids in their homes. You have a lot of experience working with them. However, there is a difference between working with them and parenting them that is astronomically huge.<br><br>
It does not matter how many degrees or years of experience that you may have. Unless you have actually parented a child with special needs, you can't truly be an expert on special needs parenting.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I am going to stop replying here because I just have the feeling that I walked into a conversation where I am not welcomed and that's completely OK. I only stopped to say something because I was mentioned and because I thought there was an opportunity to resolve a misunderstanding.<br><br>
I was not trying to avoid the question, there were just so many replies and they seemed so angry with me I thought it best to not engage in a tit-for-tat.</td>
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For your safety and mental health, that may be best.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: We are a nice group of people generally. But you are really walking into the lionesses' den with this topic.<br><br>
Perhaps <b>you</b> should also view this as a learning experience.
 
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