Author Andrew Solomon just published a new book, Far From The Tree: Parenting, Children, And A Search For Identity. He writes about parents coping with autism, Down Syndrome, schizophrenia, severe disabilities, with children conceived in rape, who became criminals, or who are transgender. This book demonstrates how sometimes the proverbial apple does fall far from the tree. We all have hopes and dreams for our children. As they grow and develop we learn that maybe our hopes and dreams aren’t theres or can’t be. We experience disappointment. We grieve. We feel saddened.
Solomon interviewed over 300 families and had forty thousand pages of transcripts to draw from. Most of the stories seem sad on the surface. A child born from rape. The parents of the boy responsible for the Columbine shooting. The list goes on and on. He uncovered a universal theme among very different circumstances. Parents never stop loving their children, but in some cases they have to learn how to accept them. For each circumstance the process of acceptance, tolerance, and compassion occurred, but at different times.
If you are parent of a child with special needs, you probably have stopped ready this blog so you can order his book right now! Nobody talks about acceptance because as parents this seems heartless. Why would a parent have to learn how to accept their child? Doesn’t this happen automatically? No! Andrew Solomon highlights this idea over and over in his book. Whether your child has physical disabilities, ADHD, autism, or Down Syndrome parenting presents a crucial question. To what extent should parents accept their children for who they are, and to what extent they should help them become better.
Where are you in this process of acceptance? I want to hear your stories!
Katherine Price coaches parents on everything from behavior modification plans to IEP goals. She helps DC area parents get the ADHD help and resources they need by guiding them through the options available to them, connecting with the right people, and making a workable, affordable plan for the whole family. For more information about ADHDC, go to www.ADHDC.com.