Our guest on the blog this week is our dear friend, Megan Wood, fellow blogger, Pastor's wife, and mom to three amazing children on the Autism Spectrum. Check out Megan's blog @itsbuildingcharacter. It is a blog about "seeing the beauty in the messy and the beauty in the refinement of our own journey". Check her blog out, subscribe, and give her a follow to this amazing mom and woman! Megan shares her thoughts today on the importance of building a solid team and the vitality of doing so in achieving victory in our children's lives.
We have tried many Occupational Therapists, however Limitless Victory Therapy Services has played such a huge part in my family’s lives. There have been many times where I have reached out for help and support and have been so impressed with not only the expertise but the true passion and knowledge we have encountered. Lauren Condoleon has been such an incredible advocate and support for us through the last several years on this journey. My children absolutely love Lauren and I am so grateful to have an opportunity to share about our experience with Special Needs and Therapy.
My husband and I have three children, they all have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). My husband and I have been on this journey for about five years with our kids. They all three have various strengths and weaknesses, as all kids do. As we have often heard, parenting doesn’t come with a manual which is very true and how much more true, when you have a child who has special needs. We have seen our children grow exponentially and celebrated with them in many victories over the last few years. We strongly believe that without a team effort our kids would not be where they are.
When my oldest was first diagnosed I researched every service that would help him overcome challenges that are common in ASD. We found that with speech, occupational, physical, and ABA therapy as well as an IEP and special education children with ASD can grow in there challenges as well as even overcome them. It was very apparent that this team of therapists and teachers would be vital to us. If I was to rely on my own knowledge and resources solely in parenting my kids, they would not be able to succeed nearly as much as they would with a team effort. This has proven to be true, I am so grateful for the many people in our lives that have cared for our kids and helped them to develop new skills as well as build on the ones they already have. They have truly brought the best out in my kids and I will forever have a spot in my heart for people who have dedicated their education and career to helping children like my own and have believed in them and their future.
Early on I discovered that team not only meant securing these services for my kids but it meant working alongside them. There have been times where I have needed to speak up because no one knows my children like I do but there have been even more times where I have needed to listen and apply what I have learned to my own parenting. Therapists and teachers have helped me be a better parent, to help me better understand my children’s needs. This team has become family to us and my kids love them.
Doing what is best for my children has often meant setting aside my pride and recognizing I don’t have all the answers. I didn’t go to school to study Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD, Autism, or many of the behaviors that accompany but I have a team around me who did. How incredible is that? There have been many times where I have felt helpless and out of ideas but knowing I am not alone has kept me from feeling isolated. There is a team of people who understand my child’s diagnosis and the challenges that accompany them. This doesn’t mean I don’t bring something to the table.
What part do I play? I am the parent, there is a connection and bond that no one else has with my child. Often I can sense when something isn’t right. There have been times where I have had to respectfully say something isn’t working. Also, there have been times where my knowledge and parenting have helped a therapist when they have been working with my child. Everyone has a role in a team and my role still and will always be the parent. Recognizing my need for help doesn’t make me a weak parent but a wise parent who loves their kid and wants the very best for her kids even if it means going out and finding the help they need.