You're raising a child with unique needs and abilities. This tells me something about you. It tells me you have empathy, patience, and a deep understanding of human nature - both the raw and the radiant. Someone trusts you with their life. I know you may be overwhelmed by the great responsibility. I know that your actions have the power to shape someone’s world.
Parents often feel like friends, neighbors, and even doctors dismiss or don’t understand their child’s challenges. They spend months on wait lists, seeking diagnosis and insurance authorizations. I understand why. There are wonderful interventions and programs out there (and not enough, to be sure). Yet if every resource you have to help your child succeed is found outside of your home and your community, you have a problem.
If you've been searching for the right tool, technique, or treatment, I urge you to look closer to home.
You are the best sensory resource your child has.
The gifts of your time and attention, love, and affection produce real, measurable results in your child's brain and behavior - and these resources never require a prescription or a funding request.
I know you want support - you need support, we all do. So I want to start by recognizing just how powerful you are as a parent. I want you to trust yourself and use what you have available, starting today.
When you hold your child in your arms, you both get a rush of dopamine (the neurotransmitter of feeling safe and loved). When you share a smile, you get a boost of serotonin (another feel good neurochemical, which boosts confidence). A Google search can confirm this if you're skeptical, but to quote one of my favorite movies, “search your feelings… you know it to be true.”
I asked parents graduating from Early Intervention what insights they would share with parents who are just starting on their journey. They all talk about the value of persistence, and trusting your own judgement. One Mom said,
“Start early with interventions and never give up. No matter how hard you fight it will never seem like it is enough, but it is.”
I want you, parents out there, to feel supported and understood, so you can trust your own human nature, focus on what you and your child are ready to do right now, and just put one foot in front of the other, in the direction of your goals.
Laura Hackle, OTR/L
Whole Self IN