So many of us get stuck comparing or thinking about our child’s development as it relates to his/her typically developing peers.This is a normal and understandable approach. We want our children to be able to navigate the world much like their peers and as quickly as possible. In the toddler years when a child has been diagnosed with CP, many of us look for signs for how our kids are developing and how much help they may need going forward. It can be a bit scary to see an ever increasing gap between what is typically expected and what you see your child doing. Out of a need for self-preservation I stopped calculating and trying to think of ways to make Maya’s development match up more closely with her same aged peers. I now keep goals in mind, but I have learned to relax my mental grip on the timeline. This has freed me emotionally and allowed me to move into a place of further acceptance of Maya’s challenges (or perhaps the acceptance came first and allowed me to do this). By relaxing my attachment to a certain timeline, I was able to breath easier and begin to work through my fear and anxiety separately, rather than having them become entangled in how I structured Maya’s therapies and practice time (my fear and pain was ultimately being channeled into how I structured her daily routine). Now, I feel grateful and pleasantly surprised as new skills emerge without the drilling and constant pressure associated with trying to force Maya to attain skills when she isn’t ready. It’s not easy to work through these pieces, and to know how much to push your child and when, but as you gather more awareness of what motivates you in your interactions with your child, you will have more clarity.
Big hugs on this challenging journey,