When a child is diagnosed with a developmental delay, physical disability, or chronic health condition, there is a steep learning curve for parents who want to learn all about their child's particular disability issue and make certain of the best possible options, while carrying on with everything that makes parenthood and childhood delightful.
While there are resources for advice on finding the most reliable disability experts, education and medical professionals, supporting siblings, and keeping extended family informed, most moms just want to get on with the everyday opportunities for fun and companionship that make memories we may never share in parent groups or on Facebook.
Home is where we expect differences between individuals and anything that can be labeled a 'special' need is rare. Any mother who has raised a child knows there is not much that is predictable about any of us. Having grown up without a disability, many parents escaped having to work specifically on what was least interesting and most difficult for them. Although diagnosis and early intervention are wonderful tools to make us more aware of our children's true potential, we must remember that many talents and abilities show themselves in the natural course of time and play.
We have several generations of children with disabilities who have grown up included in their neighborhoods and schools, who have shown us how many more interests and experiences they value in the same ways as their mainstream peers - by being there when opportunities arise, and being expected to participate however they choose. Even though it is a sad commentary that parents of children with disabilities today may be fighting the same battles parents have won in the past three decades, our sons and daughters have even greater opportunities because they have role models in their communities as well as representation in modern culture through entertainment and social media.
Mothers are no longer trusting or loyal to the misdirected expertise of inexperienced and barely trained 'professionals' who see a disability first and not the individual who is growing up where all kinds of diversity is represented. The main work of childhood is play, and our children thrive in a culture of fun, just like their mainstream peers.
Browse at your local bookstore, public library or online retailer for Adapted Games and Activities: From Tag to Team Building or The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun, Revised Edition: Activities for Kids with Sensory Processing Disorder.