There are so many resources out there for parents these days, most very well meaning, giving advice on how to parent, how to play, how to raise your child. And yes, this is one of them. However, I hope that the perspective I bring is clear in stating that there is no one RIGHT WAY. Everyone has their opinions, which are of course colored by their experience. And that is natural.
Every health care professional practices based on their experience. And if they have not parented, or parented a child with differences, the guidance they give reflects that. I am not saying that those without children should not practice in pediatrics. Rather, everyone needs to be sensitive to the fact that they are a product of their experience.
I was recently speaking with a parent who was also a health care professional. Their perspective is evolving not based on their practice, but on their experience with their own child.
Last week, I spoke at a conference for children on the spectrum, and one of the keynote speakers made me laugh out loud with her opening to her talk. She said something like ” I was listening to all of these professionals talk about what a child with ASD looks like with such authority, and I wanted to shake them”. The speaker was the founder of Asperkids, both she and her husband, as well as their three children, have been diagnosed with aspergers, and all are very different.
Her point — try not to give advice on a situation you have not been in.
My point — we can try to solve the puzzle, but too often I have seen things blamed on parents for not doing enough, or doing it right. While there are cases of neglect, most often, when a child doesn’t fit neatly into the puzzle, it must be that someone didn’t do something “right”.
Be careful, what is right for you may not be right for them. And sometimes, even with everything done right, things go in a different direction. In that case, we are along for the ride, and it may be Apple’s map app that is guiding us.
Continue to investigate, explore and enjoy the ride.