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How to Process and Accept Your Child’s Neurodiversity

When you’re fighting your child’s true identity, you can’t support him — or nurture yourself. Your first step toward acceptance? Pause and grapple with your own complicated emotions about your child’s neurodivergent diagnosis.

2 Comments: How to Process and Accept Your Child’s Neurodiversity

  1. When my youngest (19 now) was diagnosed with dyslexia and dysgraphia (like dyslexia, but involves writing) in 2nd grade and had to got to resource (special ed.) for reading and writing, we explained to her that her brain just learns to read differently than other people’s and her resource classes would help her brain learn to read in the way that works best for her. We also reminded her that according to her grandpa, she’s scary smart (so smart it’s scary). (My in-laws were my baby-sitter for a couple of years when she was kicked out of daycare for biting at 1 1/2.) So she knew that her reading ability had nothing to do with her intelligence. When kids in school teased her and called her dumb because she had to go to resource, she’d retort with “I’m smarter than you” and challenge them to an animal fact off – they’d take turns saying facts about animals until one of them came up with something the other didn’t know. She always won.

    I’ve recently learned that people with dyslexia think in 3D, so they are REALLY good at figuring out what the rest of something looks like when they can only see one side. It’s why letters tend to flip, rotate, and/or move for them. So I told her that it means that she’d be really good at a test that I took for fun in one of my college classes. It was a spatial orientation test. We’d look at a line drawing of a random, complex 3D shape and then pick which shape was the same one from a different angle. There is no way to sugar coat it – I seriously SUCK at that.

  2. This segment is absolutely bizarre:

    My husband used to say to me, “He shouldn’t get so angry when it’s time to stop playing that game,” or, “He should just listen to me.” I would say, consistently, “Yes, but he is getting angry,” or, “He’s not listening to you. That’s the truth.” Identify those areas of disconnect and make a conscious effort to stop fighting what’s happening because it’s not matching your ideal of how life “should” be.

    Parents shouldn’t recognize that behavior as unacceptable and irk to correct it? This is actually a very pessimistic viewpoint. It says that my child is fundamentally limited and can’t overcome their limitations. It’s the world’s job to accept them, not their responsibility to adapt their inappropriate behavior to what is acceptable in society. That is simply awful advice, since it isn’t likely to matter once they are adults. The world simply won’t care. Not to mention the fact that it’s simply unacceptable to be abusive to others, no matter what their condition might be.

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