This is a difficult post for me to write and also an important one. There are sometimes confusing moments in our parenting journey. We wonder how we got where we are. We have to face hard truths. And when we do, we discover rare beauties that we were missing.
As you will remember from a previous post,
I purposed to take the time to read stories to Sadie all by herself for school. We have been enjoying our reading time tremendously. So far we have read:
- The Poky Little Puppy
- Scuffy the Tugboat
- Little Bear
- Frog and Toad Together
- The Tawny Scrawny Lion
- The Animals of Farmer Jones
Most of these stories can be found in A Treasury of Little Golden Books.
Our reading time has done a very important thing for Sadie. She has been brought to the forefront of my life. Previously, she was child #4, with many mannerisms and habits I didn't understand, sometimes lost in the shuffle. I love her so much, but I'll admit that sometimes she was a source of frustration as well. She screamed over the tiniest things, used animal noises instead of words, and flung her arms around in a very odd way. As a mother, something didn't seem right to me. But I was unable to put my finger on anything specific. She didn't even crawl until about a year old, and at 4, even I couldn't understand everything she was saying. I couldn't understand the grunts and moans either.
YHVH has been gently tugging me for the last few weeks, about the time that we have been reading stories together. He has been encouraging me to do some research, to find out if maybe there is something I need to know about Sadie. He led me to a very unexpected place, but the more I read the more it seemed to fit. It looked like perhaps Sadie was struggling with asperger's syndrome or PDD
. When I found out that my cousin had been diagnosed with PDD many years before, the pieces started coming together. We discovered that his treatment involving a special school among other things, had left him frustrated and ill equipped for life. The "professionals" can offer no cure, no medication.
After prayer, we feel the best help we can give Sadie is not a diagnosis, but a strong supportive family that will meet her where she is, whether she "officially" has asperger's
or not. At the very least, we have a framework with which to understand her. When she crawls up in my lap and starts barking at me, I try to encourage her to use words to tell me what she needs. I try to give her a little extra love when she starts grunting and flailing her arms in frustration. We try to show a little more patience when she screams about the things that seem little to us. We have also begun a journey to change our diet
. (Thank you Lusi
, for the link.)
Suddenly, that time of reading and cuddling with Sadie has become a lifeline for us both. She gets so excited to point out farmer Jones in the picture. She tells me how the poky little puppy is going to dig under the fence again! We laugh together and snuggle and for a few moments, there is peace and calm and safety for her. We pray that with purposeful loving parenting, her days will be easier and she will learn to tell us all the amazing things that are going on in her head.
"Your child was made just right. Your child is beautiful. Your child does
not have defects and “problems.” Look at your child as being fearfully and
wonderfully made. Why am I saying this? Because sometimes we get
frustrated with our children. Sometimes we ask ourselves, “What is wrong
with them?” We need a fresh perspective. We need to be reminded that
YHVH made our child just right. Yes, they need work and training, but look
into their eyes and see what YHVH sees. Look at what they can become.
They are a diamond in the rough. Show them that they are just as valuable
as a diamond to you."
Our daughter is beautiful and wonderful, an excellent dancer. She loves to trace and color, and play with her little toy animals. She has a great smile and loves to help me with little jobs around the house. YHVH made her just right. She just needs a bit of extra help along the way.