F is for FAMILY.
Family is defined as: “1) a. basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not: the traditional family. b. a social unit consisting of one or more adults together with the children they care for: a single-parent family…” – Dictionary.com
There is actually an entire page of definitions in regards to family. I never knew there were so many ways to say the same thing, and I personally feel the definitions are extremely limited. I guess it is good at describing the technicality of family, but it does not even come close to the spirituality. Our “family” consists not only of our family of origin, but also our family of choice (not related to us, but loved in the same unconditional manner). Our family of origin are our roots and stems, but our family of choice are our beautiful leaves and blooms in the garden of life. One you are born with, while the other comes and goes through the seasons. No garden is complete without the two formidable forces.
An African proverb sums it up perfectly: “It takes a village to raise a child.” As a parent we look to others for advice in almost every area; because if someone knows of an easier, more interesting, more effective, more fun-filled, etc… way of doing things we may try it for our own children. Having a child with special needs does not change our need or desire for that same comradery, understanding and guidance. We look to many of our “family” with NT kids to see how they do things. Although it may not always work for us, we may be able to adapt it to fit our sensory needs. Sometimes our “family” without special needs children, or any children for that matter, see an angle we missed; because we are so busy concentrating on the sensory or delayed areas of our child, we are missing the big picture. We are also blessed with some wonderful “family” who have special needs children as well, and can give us yet another view and area of expertise. Yet again I must say parenting is a hard gig, well worth it, but a struggle all the same; it does not matter if our children are typical or have special needs, we are all just trying to give them the best foundation for their life. The best way to give our children a solid foundation to help them reach their God-given potential is to love, accept and thank all members of our “family” for the gifts they bring to our life.
Family “Our Way” is defined as: “All the people who touch our life on a consistent basis, and fill it with love, faith, hope, support, understanding, laughter, etc..”
Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.