Monday, March 11, 2013

What's your story?

I'm trying to do a little background research to figure out how much of my experience is shared by other parents of kids on the spectrum.  So, if you're a parent of a child who has difficulty with pragamatic language - using language with comfort and fluidity in social situations - and you're willing to share your story (and possibly be quoted elsewhere), can you leave a comment and tell me about any of the following:

Social situations you've attempted with your child and how they've played out;

Social situations you've avoided because the challenge feels too great;

Social successes your child has had;

Things you do with your child to prepare him/her for social situations.

Thanks in advance, friends.  And for those who have asked - yes, once this article is out, I will definitely post a link.  In the meantime, maybe we'll all find some wisdom we can use (or at least the reassurance of a few good "me too"s) in the comment section.

Friday, March 08, 2013

On second thoughts and shifting perspectives

That pesky universe is at it again.

A little over a week ago, I published a new blog post about approaching life through the lens of appreciative inquiry.  It was up for about an hour, it got a little bit of positive feedback on Facebook, and then I re-read it and groaned.  It seemed heavy-handed and pedantic.  It felt like a whole lot of academic bluster - a whole lot of blah blah blah that just made me sick of myself.  So I took it down.

Then today, I spoke to a Speech Language Pathologist for an unrelated article that I'm writing, focusing on pragmatic language disorders and what parents can do at home to help their children.  His response was neither heavy-handed nor pedantic.  There was no bluster and no blah blah blah.  He used completely different words and he handed my philosophy back to me.

"We need to step back from a deficit model," he said. "We need to ask, 'what are the intrinsic gifts that this child brings to me as a parent and to this family?'"

"We need to be constructive in the building of solutions," he said. "We can decide to see the difficulties or we can learn to focus on the opportunities."

In other words, he said we need to identify what's working and then do more of it.  Not only that:  he said that it's the most important thing that we can do for our children.

My last post is up again.  And my thanks go out to both the universe and Dr. Jeff Marler of ASPIRE - Innovative Language Interventions, PLLC in Southlake, Texas for leading me back to it.