I would just like to say "Thank you!" to all the people who are using the Community Support Forum; whether for questions and answers, information or support. We may not have all the solutions, but by adding your voices, we are helping one another, and other parents find the support they need and deserve. We shouldn't discount our experiences - they are a most valuable resource!
We all knew, when we embarked on this journey, that children didn't come with user manuals, but we were safe in the knowledge that there were many tried and true remedies, handed down from generation to generation that we felt would be enough to sustain us along the way...that and what we learned from our own parents. However, we soon discovered that these same tried and true remedies had no effect what so ever with our children, and we were left adrift in a sea of misinformation, alone and cut off from our friends and family, with no one to turn to for advice or help.
Living with any disability is difficult, but when you live with and love someone whose diagnosis does not afford them the help, programs or funding to find what they need, sometimes the only thing we can do is to band together to help ourselves.
It has taken fourteen long years for me to find programs that offer specific parenting skills and parenting groups (that would have been helpful several years ago,) for children like my son. There appear to be more programs available now than there were when my son was six and seven. This is because there are more kids being diagnosed with these disabilities than ever before, and the professionals in Child and Youth Mental Health are starting to provide the necessary services that parents need.
Unfortunately, these services are not always offered in our communities, and with today's financial and/or time constraints, it can be difficult to access them on a monthly, weekly, or sometimes daily basis...hence the Community Support Forum. This feature allows us to connect with other parents who are dealing with and surviving, (sometimes barely,) the stress associated with these disabilities. We may not have degrees in psychology, and our parenting skills might be brought into question by many parents, (who, I will add, do not deal with our type of stress,) but we have a wealth of information to pass on to other parents like ourselves.
We know what doesn't work - we have tried and tested the formulas! We know what types of medications seem to help our children, and what ones don't seem to make a difference. (I will say here, that each child is different, so what helps one might not be as effective for another, but overall, some stand out more from the crowd.) We know that sleep, (or lack there of,) food additives/processed food, allergies, potty training, discipline, consequences, and a variety of other items seem to plague our children and make it harder for us to parent them.
All of this knowledge should be, and needs to be, available to every parent who is fighting the same fight we are. Simply by sharing your stories, parents realize that they aren't alone. There are other parents out there dealing with the same issues, and that tiny bit of knowledge helps them gain the stamina necessary to get out of bed each morning - witness the over one hundred and sixty five lengthy comments on my original article - almost all of them saying thank you for posting this story.
So, for those of you who find answers, support, or a measure of solace and comfort from the Community Support Forum, I ask for your help. Tweet, Facebook, or simply pass on the link so that others can benefit from our experience and knowledge. Thank you again, and now I'll pass my soap box to the next person!
Welcome to One Small Step for Parents! Our goal is to help you find the right resources, support and information that is needed to make informed choices. Without the proper tools we, as parents and adults, don't know what will help our situation or what works and doesn't work. Here at One Small Step, we have done our best to take the guesswork and confusion out of the equation by supplying tools, resources and online support.