Monday, October 12, 2009

Desperate Parents

Last week I went to a parent education seminar sponsored by the Child Psychiatry Department at the local hospital. I found the explanation of various current therapies for autistic childrean really engaging, helpful, and informative. Near the end, they were describing one therapy that I've had Joshua be in for the past year (Pivotal Response Therapy). The leader of the seminar asked if anyone had experienced PRT so I raised my hand and said that I had. I shared for a few minutes about how much I appreciated the therapy and the therapist and that Josh had really moved forward in some of his behavior issues as well as his speech.

When the seminar ended, I am not kidding you, at least 7 parents approached me asking for my email address so that they could get more information about the therapy that Josh had been in. They literally surrounded me, almost competing to connect with me. I felt like a momentary rock star of the special needs parent world. One parent even walked me to my car, peppering me with questions.

Of course, it wasn't me that they were really interested in, and that's ok. We parents of special needs kids are truly desperate people. We live in a world where the clock is ticking on our kids and we feel like we need to get the right help for them at the right time or else our kids are doomed to be stuck in their disabilities. Yes, we know in the back of our heads that no therapy with be a magic formula and yet we all still want the very best for our kids who all have an overwhelming amount of need.

I am not a stranger to that feeling. Every day I feel that sense of desperation. Sometimes it veers more toward despair. Sometimes it's a desperation that drives me to work hard to get the things that Josh needs to have the best chance at life. When I'm most sane and centered, that desperation leads me to God, to prayer and to trusting that it's not all up to me.

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