Raising children with special needs is different than raising typical kids. That seems like a given. I knew that at the start of the journey. But I have found myself surprised at the kinds of things that are no longer important to me as a parent.
Like what, you ask? Let’s see…I let AJ eat every meal in the living room. Yep, that’s right, in front of the TV. I never dreamed I would be THAT parent! However, it’s the only way she sits still long enough to eat a whole meal! Another ridiculous thing I let AJ do is eat off the floor. Yes, you heard that correct…the floor. Now before you call CPS, let’s be clear I do not put food on the floor and ask her to eat it. She is incredibly clumsy and drops everything. When she drops food, she has a traumatic response. She MUST pick it up and eat it. When I try to intervene, it becomes a fight-or-flight battle over food. That snowballs into more trauma response issues and well, you see, it’s just not emotionally healthy for her if I push the issue. I DO, however, calmly talk her through what’s safe at the time. I TRY to have her look at the food item and attempt to talk her through making a good choice. If it has cat hair or other visible dirt, let’s put it in the trash and get a new one or at least wash it off. She has been able to make the right choice about 40% of the time as long as I do not try to physically intervene. On a related note, she does have a great immune system!
Does your family do things that a ‘typical’ family may not? I really enjoy our special needs family think-outside-of-the-box differences! I think maybe that our adaptation skills just might make us more ‘evolved’ than typical families! Hee Hee!